SUPPORT: Patient Helen Deakin with members of the falls clinic at Richardson Hospital Clare Regan, Natalie Gutteridge and Vicki Hird
SUPPORT: Patient Helen Deakin with members of the falls clinic at Richardson Hospital Clare Regan, Natalie Gutteridge and Vicki Hird

A TEESDALE-based health team has helped to compile a specialist booklet which offers advice on how to keep active and reduce the risk of a fall.

The falls clinic, based at Barnard Castle’s Richardson Hospital, helps patients get back on their feet after they have suffered a slip, but physiotherapist Natalie Gutteridge and occupational therapist Clare Regan, are hoping the new booklet, produced by the Durham Darlington Foundation Trust, which runs the Richardson Hospital, will help reduce the number of patients who need to use it.

The clinic treats up to six patients at a time on a 12 week course helping them regain mobility and confidence, which can be lost after a fall.

Patients who visit the clinic are referred by their GPs and have to get to grips with eight activities addressing balance, stability and strength.

Sam Turner

Vicki Hird, from the Richardson Hospital, said: “Regionally we are leading in the work we do to prevent falls, but we want to be a national leader. The more we can do to prevent people falling the better and there are lots of advice we can given.”

After suffering two falls in the space of a year, 65-year-old Helen Deakin says it is down to the “excellent work” the team at the Richardson Hospital do that she is back hill walking only six months after completing the course.

The booklet has been produced as part of fall prevention week and will be available to read in the Richardson Hospital as well as GP surgeries across Teesdale.