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Reducing harm from falls was the first focus area of the Open for better care campaign. During this focus there was a suite of activities and resources aimed at encouraging the use of evidence-based interventions to prevent falls and reduce harm from falls, which are outlined below.

From April–September 2015 Open revisits the topic to once again raise the profile of the harm older people can suffer if they fall and hurt themselves. Information about these activities is available on the falls activities page.

Month / Focus Description

May – launch, awareness raising

  • Falls focus at national and local campaign launch event
  • First, Do No Harm-organised falls and pressure injuries learning session #3 for the Northern Region – 8 May
  • Workshop with falls programme regional leads – focus on sharing experiences and learning about regional quality improvement approaches and execution strategies
  • Falls focus at NZ Chapter of Health Roundtable – two-day national event in Wellington 15/16 May – falls focus day 2.

Supporting resources

  • Release of three audio-visual resources: the first focuses on falls prevention in hospitals; the second demonstrates an integrated model of service delivery for a falls prevention programme with a community focus; and the third is a compilation of all four videos being produced
  • Patient information resource – tips on how to stay safe and prevent falls while in hospital and after discharge
  • Factsheet on reducing harm from falls in hospitals
  • Factsheet on effective interventions, entitled Falling Costs: the case for investment.

June – reducing harm from falls in hospital settings, with a focus on falls risk assessment and care planning

  • National/regional promotion: Asking patients ‘Have you fallen in the past 12 months?’

Related Events

  • Promotion of falls prevention/harm reduction at the General Practice CME conference

Supporting resources

  • Falls prevention/harm reduction case study
  • Release of first, second and third of 10 topics 'Falls in older people: The impact', 'Falls risk: Ask, assess, act' and 'Risk assessment and care planning: What counts?'
  • Release of risk assessment tool developed in Trendcare
  • Recommendations on essential elements for risk assessment and care planning post review and analysis of documents currently in use across DHBs.
  • Quality and safety process markers baseline data released on risk assessments and care planning
  • Sharing of findings from the trial of signalling system on identifying and responding to mobility risk – trialled across the 6 DHBs in the Central region.
July – reducing harm from falls in hospital settings, with a focus on safe environments

Proposed intervention activity:

  • National/regional promotion on safe care environments with a focus on clear pathways.

Related events

  • Three regional workshops with a focus on reducing harm from falls (South Island, Central, Midland)
  • Regional falls programme leads gathering

Supporting resources

  • Fourth and fifth set of 10 topics releases 'Safe environment: Obstacle course or clear path?' and 'Rounding: Preempt the bells and increase safety'
  • Falls prevention/harm reduction case study
  • Serious and sentinel events falls – learnings from case reviews across 4 DHBs released and shared – moving from reporting to learning
August – preventing falls in aged residential care settings – with a focus on Vitamin D

Proposed intervention activity: 

  • National/regional promotion ‘Vitamin D Day’

Related events

  • Engagement events across the aged residential care sector and key stakeholders
  • Progress alignment opportunities with InterRAI project team – for aged residential care and community settings from a risk assessment perspective
  • Address to the New Zealand Aged Care Association conference in Auckland - "Falls prevention is everyone's business"

Supporting resources

  • Release of third audio-visual resource, with focus on preventing falls in aged residential care setting
  • Sixth and seventh set of 10 topics releases 'The truth about sunshine and Vitamin D' and 'Vitamin D-Day'
  • Falls prevention/harm reduction case study

September – preventing falls in the community/at home – promoting targeted strenght and balance exercise programmes

National / Regional: Promotion of strength and balance exercise programmes

Related events

  • Promote  audio-visuals resource to key sectors / agencies of interest who are focussed on the care of older people
  • Formalise events / networks to be addressed
  • Strengthen linkages with allied health, primary care, voluntary sector groups for promotion of exercise programmes and associated activities

Supporting resources

  • Release of fourth audio-visual resource, with focus on staying safe / on your feet in the community
  • Falls prevention/harm reduction case study
  • Eight and ninth set of 10 topic releases 'Strength and balance' and 'Stay on your feet'
October – consolidation and ongoing activity

Related events

  • Promotion of falls prevention/harm reduction programme and campaign at the Australasian Nurses Educators conference in Wellington


  • Reporting on first quarter quality & safety process markers for falls – risk assessments and individualised care planning
  • Planning learning opportunities for maintained focus and sustainability of programme

Supporting resources

  • Final set of 10 topics released 'Falling into place: What you can do'
  • Guidance/learning document issued on quality improvement models with a focus on cross sector sustainability for reducing harm from falls.
  • Falls prevention/harm reduction case study
  • Develop learning packages for sustained capability building across the sector