Falls and Balance Service

For Patients and Visitors

What is the Service?

The Falls and Balance Service (FABS) is for people in the community who have experienced falls. The clinicians in this service will work with you to identify the factors that may cause your falls, help to reduce further falls and assist you to feel more confident when moving.

The health workers involved in this clinic are Geriatrician, Registrar, Physiotherapist and Nurse. Other health workers such as Occupational Therapy, Podiatry, Dietetics and Psychology can be involved if needed.

What can I expect from the service?

You may be invited to attend one or both of the following: 

FABS Clinic: The FABS clinic runs at Bundoora campus every Thursday morning. Patients attending the clinic will be assessed by a Geriatrician, Physiotherapist and a Nurse. This team look for the cause of the falls such as medications, illness, balance or eyesight issues.  A plan will then be worked out with you and your carer to address these things. A letter listing the findings and recommendations will be provided to your GP.

FABS Physiotherapy/Occupational Therapy: You will be invited to attend one of Northern Health Centres. There, in a gymnasium, therapists observe you while walking and moving and ask you some questions about when you have fallen over. They will then work out the cause of your falls and how to prevent them from happening again.  Up to three follow up sessions are then organised to help you practice the strategies that they provide you.

What do I bring/need for my appointment?

Please bring a list of current medications.

How much does it cost?

No cost to attend the Falls and Balance Service.

If you are referred onto additional therapy services there may be a fee incurred of $5-10

If client is ineligible for Medicare the referral for the service will need to be reviewed by management.

Contact us

For referrals or enquiries regarding this service please contact the Community Access Service team

Free Call:      1300 128 539

Fax:               8405 8616

 

For Health Professionals

Service/Clinic overview

Falls and Balance Service (FABS) provides a preventative health outpatient service that is based at Bundoora campus. FABS is a diagnostic service for patients presenting with complex presentations and who are at high risk or are falling in the community, or have a fear of falling which is impacting negatively on their ability to compete daily activities. FABS is staffed by a Geriatrician, Registrar, Physiotherapists, Nurse and Occupational Therapists. Other allied health disciplines are able to be referred to post the initial assessment.

 Also refer to discipline specific referral pages for more detailed information.

 What can be provided:

There are two streams to the FABS clinic and clients may enter the service via one of these streams: 

FABS Clinic: The FABS clinic runs at Bundoora campus every Thursday morning. GP and medical specialists are able to refer clients to the clinic to further investigate/diagnose contributing factors for falls. All clients attending the clinic will have a comprehensive assessment by a Geriatrician, Physiotherapist and a Nurse. As part of this process a multidisciplinary screen is also completed. After the initial assessments a case conference is held where by the clinicians identify intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors contributing to the person’s falls and recommend appropriate management strategies to reduce further falls and significant fear of falling. As a result of this discussion a recommendations letter is provided to the client and GP. Ongoing reviews can be organised through case conference with the aim to assess adherence and effectiveness of their preventative strategies recommended.

FABS Physiotherapy/Occupational Therapy: A Falls Pathway Initial Assessment is completed during the first contact and the PT or OT can provide up to three follow up sessions. The purpose of these interactions is to provide a quick response, early assessment of those clients who are less complex and in need of home based therapy. During this process clients can be linked into the FABS clinic at any stage when indicated or referred onto community based services as required.

 Inclusion criteria:

More than one fall in the last 12 months &

Fear of falling causing significant restriction in activity &/OR

High risk of falls &/OR

Severe dizziness resulting in fall(s) or falls risk.

 Exclusion criteria:

Active TAC or work cover clients

Active or recently discharged with another Falls and Balance Service

Recent discharge from Subacute service where follow up is arranged within CTS/TCP/HARP (these clients can be internally referred at later stage if identified as appropriate)

Recent discharge (last 3 months) from CTS Physio/OT.

Clients aged less than 18 years

Client who are primarily non-ambulant e.g. using a wheelchair

Clients who are a permanent resident of an Residential Care Facility

Clients who have a significant cognitive impairment and would be unable to participate in the assessment process or management of their falls risks

Client has had recent similar investigation or management of their falls and balance problems in a community program AND has had no significant change in status since that time

Clients with single cause for falls already identified and managed that does not require multi-disciplinary assessment such as medical problems or orthopaedic conditions that have been identified as causing their falls (e.g. osteoarthritis of knee requiring a replacement surgery).

 How to Refer:

All referrals must be from GP or Medical Consultant/ Specialist. Referral must include:

Reason for referral

Current and past medical history including Psychiatric history

Information relation to the patient’s condition including falls history

List of current mediations

Results of all relevant current investigations including pathology and radiology

For referrals or enquiries regarding this service please contact the Community Access Service team

Free Call:      1300 128 539

Fax:                8405 8616

Alternative service options:

Continence clinic- if issues relate to continence issues

GEM clinic – If client has significant cognitive impairment with diagnosis

Private Rehabilitation

Private specialists such as Geriatrician

Melbourne Health FABS

Austin Health FABS