The white paper “Saving Lives: Our Healthier Nation” sets out four priorities for the NHS. One of these is accident prevention. The majority of accidental injuries resulting in death and hospitalisation occur in older people. Many of these accidental injuries are caused by falls, and the most common diagnosis amongst these accidental injuries is fracture. This white paper has been reinforced by the recent national service framework for older People, that sets out a service profile linking the prevention of falls and osteoporosis2. The government has given a policy commitment to reduce the death rates from accidents by at least a fifth and the rate of serious injury from accidents by at least a tenth - saving 12,000 lives by 20103. Falls are the most important cause of accidental injury amongst older people, due to the resulting high mortality, morbidity and cost to the NHS. It is a combination of propensity to fall and osteoporosis that causes many of the serious injuries such as hip fracture amongst older people
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