Falls prevention for health professionals

Falls prevention policy directive and toolkit

The Fall and Fall Injury Prevention and Management Policy Directive (PDF 1.3MB) outlines the scope, principles, definitions and responsibilities for effective falls prevention systems.

The purpose of this policy and toolkit is to establish a consistent, embedded approach to the prevention and management of falls across SA Health services.

The below falls prevention infographics provide staff with some data available to paint a picture of falls across SA in 2022, such as:

  • the number of falls
  • the average length of hospital stay
  • effective strategies that are having a positive impact on reducing falls incidents during health care.

Statistics for 2022

A survey (PDF 401KB) conducted for SA Health in 2015 showed that older people now have a better understanding of the things that can be done to reduce their falls risk, than when a previous survey was conducted in 2007. The actions people know to do include:

  • modifying the home and removing obstacles such as electric cords
  • changing medication
  • using a walking aid
  • having an assessment of balance, walking and/or muscle strength
  • doing regular balance exercises
  • having eyesight/glasses checked regularly
  • increasing physical activity levels.

Falls risk assessment and care planning

Medical records forms (usually numbered MR58, MR58a and 58b) can be ordered from the SA Health Distribution Centre by completing a Medical Records Order Form (PDF 138KB). There are Sunrise versions of these paper forms.

Videos and information about using these forms is included in the Falls Prevention eLearning course.

National Safety and Quality Service Standard 5: Comprehensive Care

The NSQHS Standard 5: Comprehensive Care describes actions that need to be met for accreditation:

5.24 The health service organisation providing services to patients at risk of falls has systems that are consistent with best-practice guidelines for:

  • falls prevention
  • minimising harm from falls
  • post-fall management.

5.25 The health service organisation providing services to patients at risk of falls ensures that equipment, devices and tools are available to promote safe mobility and manage the risks of falls.

5.26 Clinicians providing care to patients at risk of falls provide patients, carers and families with information about reducing falls risks and falls prevention strategies.

The SA Health Accreditation Resource Standard 6: Communicating for Safety identifies the resources that are available to support each action.

The falls prevention criteria are based on the National guidelines Preventing falls and harm from falls – best practice for Australian hospitals, residential aged care and community care, 2009 Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care.

Finding the right falls prevention service – where and how to refer

Each Local Health Network (LHN) has a streamlined system to assist referrers and older people to access the right service at the right time. See Falls Prevention Services for details.

For Country SA services, please contact your local community health service for information about services that are available close to you. You can also contact the Falls Program Manager on Health.CHSAFallsPreventionProject@sa.gov.au

Consumer information on falls prevention

Consumer information and fact sheets are available on the Falls and preventing harm from falls page.

Health care providers are encouraged to use our range of fact sheets, self-screen checklists and booklets to engage consumers in their falls prevention. Selected resources are available in a range of languages.

Posters have also been developed to use around the health care setting, or in displays to remind patients on the importance of falls prevention. Selected languages are also available.

Falls Prevention in SA features falls prevention resources for consumers, including information on courses and workshops.

Strength for Life promotes health and well-being and helps reduce the risk of falling in people over 50, through strength and balance training programs that are run by accredited community-based fitness providers.


Clinical Governance Unit
Email:  Health.DHWClinicalGovernanceEnquiries@sa.gov.au