Using care and support planning to implement routine falls prevention and management for people living with frailty: A qualitative evaluation

Tracy Finch*, Michaela Fay, Joanne Smith, Helen Kleiser, Deborah Dews, Sue Roberts, Fiona Shaw, Shona Haining, Lindsay Oliver

*Corresponding author for this work

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Frailty is a key issue in current healthcare delivery and falls is an important component. Care and support planning (CSP) is an established approach to managing long term conditions (LTCs) and has potential to provide more person-centred care for those at risk of falling. This qualitative evaluation aimed to understand the barriers and success criteria involved in incorporating falls assessment and management into the CSP process.

CSP for falls prevention was implemented in eight general practices in the North of England. Six of the eight practices participated in the qualitative evaluation. Seven group interviews were undertaken with staff (n = 31) that included practice nurses, health care assistants, nurses, and administrative staff (n = 2–8 per group). Observations of the falls and CSP training provided additional data. Interviews covered experiences and potential impacts of training, and processes of implementation of the programme, and were informed by normalisation process theory. Thematic analysis was undertaken using a team-based approach.

Although successfully implemented across the practices, how established CSP was and therefore ‘organisational readiness’ was an overarching theme that illustrated differences in how easily sites were able to implement the additional elements for frailty. The challenges, successes and impacts of implementation are demonstrated through this theme and four further themes: training resources and learning; positive impacts of the programme (including enabling easier conversations around ‘frailty’); integrating work processes/work with patients; and dealing with uncertainty and complexity.

Care and Support Planning services designed to target frailty and falls is feasible and can successfully be delivered in the primary care setting, if key enablers are promoted and challenges to implementation addressed from planning through to integration in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0275974
Number of pages17
JournalPLoS One
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2022


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