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230 The safer homes programme
  1. Sheila Merrill
  1. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RSPA)


Background Home accidents are a leading cause of death and injury in the UK. Falls among older people lead to over 4 million hospital bed days each year. Almost 1 million children require emergency care following home accidents. Partnership working is vital to address this key public health issue.

Description The Safer Homes Programme provided a package of consultancy, training and intervention across 30 local authority areas with higher than average hospital admission rates for accidents. The programme helped partners, who included local authorities, home improvement agencies, charities, Fire Services and NHS, to develop strategic plans and business cases. It trained local practitioners to plan, implement and evaluate community interventions including home safety checks, falls and burns interventions and advice to vulnerable families.

Results Over 740 staff received the home safety training. The community interventions and advice given to families reached over 166,000 people. An independent evaluation by ICF International found increased home safety awareness among staff; improved partnership working and the development of clear injury prevention strategies. Training increased confidence of staff to raise awareness among client families. Families demonstrated practical safety improvements and behaviour change. One area reported a 12% drop in hospital admissions due to falls.

Conclusions The programme raised the profile of accident prevention among local partners at a crucial time of change as well as making homes safer within their local communities. Learning about effective strategic development and local delivery of interventions has been shared between partners and more widely to improve practice.

  • Safer Homes
  • Accident Prevention
  • Home Safety
  • Injury Prevention

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