Emergency services are urging people to make sure their houses are free from clutter to prevent trips or slips this winter, particularly those who are more susceptible to falling.

Last year, the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) responded to over 100,000 emergency calls relating to falls either over the phone or in person.

The number of emergency calls NWAS receives for falls is always high, but this figure increases during winter.

The service responded to 60 per cent more falls-related calls across the North West from December 2021 to February 2022 compared with autumn of that year.

In Greater Manchester alone, NWAS received 39,542 falls-related calls in 2022 – handling 94 per cent more calls in January compared to September.

78 per cent of falls-related calls to NWAS in 2022 were for patients aged 65 and older, with this age group more likely to require hospital treatment than younger patients.

Community Specialist Paramedic Sara Harris says: “At home, we tend to move around without thinking about our safety as it is where we are comfortable and where we spend much of our time.

“Falls prevention in and around the home may seem like common sense, however, it isn’t always easy to recognise the things that can cause trips, slips and falls.

“In my role, I have seen clutter, poor lighting, uneven surfaces, and slippery floors as being some of the main causes of falls that could have been avoided.

“Making a few small changes at home will make it easier to get around and carry out daily activities.

“An important first step toward preventing falls at home is to remove anything that could cause trips or slips while walking around.”

People are being advised to clear clutter from floors or stairs, remove loose mats and rugs and change and adapt furniture to give more support.

For more information visit: nwas.nhs.uk/falls

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