Annual Review
Spreading Falls Management Exercise (FaME) in Devon
— Case study

Spreading Falls Management Exercise (FaME) in Devon

The Falls Management Exercise (FaME) programme is a group-based, face-to-face, six-month exercise programme specifically aimed at improving the strength and balance of people aged 65 and over. The South West AHSN has developed skills and capability to support its implementation in Devon.

Falling can cause injury, pain, loss of confidence and loss of independence. This is undesirable for the individual and their family, and places significant demands on health and social care services.

Research has shown that FaME results in fewer falls, improved confidence, and reduced fear-of-falling. Despite this, FaME is still not available everywhere across England.

A research team at NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South West Peninsula (PenARC) were keen to understand how best to increase FaME’s availability and ensure high-quality delivery. They set up the FLEXI study (FaLls EXercise Implementation), a wider scale-up of the FaME programme.

Using an implementation guide they had created, the research team wanted to see if FaME could be made more available in two new, and very different, regions: Greater Manchester and Devon, and assess whether FaME works in these populations.

The South West AHSN was asked to provide support with the implementation in Devon.

We trained five people from the research team in the Model for Unleashing method at the Spread Academy we delivered with the Billions Institute in October 2021.

Since then, we have provided the research team and the national FaME implementation team with coaching and workshops to support them to develop the skills and capability required to spread their innovation in Devon and other regions.

Additional funding has been awarded to recruit a knowledge mobilisation lead who will develop a plan specific for FaME based on FLEXI, work with the study team to finalise the FaME Implementation toolkit, liaise with key partners e.g. World Health Organisation falls prevention team, Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID), NHS England to promote the toolkit and findings, represent the study team on the national falls prevention group (led by OHID), and summarise outcomes for the next Research Excellence Framework impact case study on falls.

  • Number of sites delivering classes in Devon has more than doubled
  • For every £1 invested, benefits equivalent to £2.28 are generated by FaME
  • A stakeholder engagement event is planned for June 2023, which the South West AHSN is supporting
  • Additional funding of £49k has been awarded by the Research England QR policy fund to help spread the FaME programme
I’m so pleased with the spread of FaME across Devon during the FLEXI study. To go from 13 to 27 classes over the last 18 months is amazing. FaME really does improve the lives of people who take part, and we would love to see its spread grow even further.

Dr Elizabeth Orton, Chief Investigator, FLEXI study

Open in new window