Queensland Stay on Your Feet - Trial project planning
During the planning phase of the Queensland Stay on Your Feet Wide Bay/Burnett trial project, those involved worked to define the problem, consult existing evidence, understand the local context, consult and engage key stakeholders and plan for evaluation and sustainability.
Defining the problem
This involved determining the incidence, severity and causes of falls-related injury in local older people by analysing available data including basic demographics, mortality (death) and morbidity (hospitalisations).
Consulting the existing evidence
Existing evidence around what currently works and what doesn’t work in falls related injury prevention was examined, involving a sustainability analysis of another Stay on Your Feet trial project in New South Wales' Northern Rivers region. Analysis of evidence is an ongoing process due to new evidence always emerging. Read about sustainability analysis.
Understand the local context
A community stocktake and local consultation was conducted to better understand the local context. Respondents were asked to identify if they provided or knew of any programs, services, activities or resources which focused on known falls risk factors.
A clear and logical link between the trial project and the Queensland Health Statewide Action Plan: Falls Prevention in Older People 2002-2006 and the National Injury Prevention Plan Priorities 2001-2003 was also established.
Consult and engage key stakeholders
To generate interest and support for the project, one-on-one liaison and group discussions were conducted. As no one agency can independently address falls prevention for older people, shared responsibility based on partnerships was needed.
Local key stakeholders involved with Queensland Stay on Your Feet Wide Bay/Burnett trial project included:
- local government
- the Department of Local Government, Planning, Sport and Recreation
- Queensland Health staff, including Community Health and Home and Community Care staff
- private health practitioners, including pharmacists and allied health professionals
- the local Divisions of General Practice
- the Heart Foundation of Australia (Just Walk It)
- physical activity leaders, trainers and facilities
- community-based organisations (for example: Home Assist/Secure, Bluecare, Sixty and Better, Senior Citizens Clubs, the Returned & Services League, Country Women’s Association, Progress Associations and Service Groups such as Rotary and Lions)
- local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community leaders, health workers and elders
- interested older people.
Plan for evaluation
At the beginning of the project, a rigorous process for assessing the trial project’s processes, impacts and outcomes was agreed. This included identifying falls data and establishing a baseline level of falls prevention knowledge, skills and activities in the primary target group and key stakeholders.
Plan for sustainability
To ensure outcomes could be more easily maintained after the completion of the trial project, capacity building and cultivating ownership and local investment were important.
the development of a series of locally relevant evidence based community action plans
local ownership of falls-related injury problems and their solutions, resulting in community and individual engagement and organisational commitment
integration with existing and relevant community falls prevention and healthy ageing strategies/programs
the identification of local key stakeholders to be champions and advocates
consideration of sustainability and evaluation from the beginning.
To progress from planning to implementation, the following critical elements were required:
development and use of a comprehensive project plan that identified a clear, agreed and realistic aim, and defined how this goal was to be achieved, highlighting roles and responsibilities and resources required
facilitation of a collaborative response led by a dedicated project officer, supported by local key stakeholders (this required striking a balance between reliance/dependence on the project officer and shared responsibility among local key stakeholders for the development, implementation and evaluation of project strategies)
development of a communication strategy to promote learning through sharing between the various communities.
The Queensland Stay on Your Feet Wide Bay/Burnett trial project timeline lists the major strategies undertaken between the project timeframe 2001-2006 and following project completion in 2007.