An outcome-focused evaluation of High Life Highland’s programme to prevent falls by older adults.


poster advertising High Life Highland activity classes entitled Otago Exercise and saying 'gentle exercise to keep you fit, flexible and fabulous. Improve your strength, balance, flexibility AND have a good time!' Plus 'A Partnership between NHS Highland and High Life Highland' and booking details and costs per class -£2.90This report presents learning from an evaluation, conducted during April to July 2017, of the exercise classes to support falls reduction in older adults delivered by High Life Highland (HLH) in leisure centres, community centres and care centres in the Highland region.

The overall objective of the evaluation was to identify and evidence outcomes that have been achieved by offering this type of exercise programme, and to establish opportunities for sustaining and scaling up the existing offering.

The focus of the evaluation was to demonstrate whether the programme contributed toward successful falls reduction and falls rehabilitation for older adults and understand if those benefits could be achieved by participating in the exercise classes, as well as any barriers to participation. The evaluation considered what needed to be in place in order to deliver a successful programme that would meet the needs of participating older adults.

HLH currently delivers a high quality programme to several venues through Highland which support falls reduction for older adults. The classes are well received and contribute to both the physical and mental health and wellbeing of those who attend.

Implications and recommendations include:

  • To sustain the programme at current delivery levels, it would be important to maintain the high quality of staff competencies and skills; engagement in ongoing training and/or reflective logs may assist with this.
  • Existing procedures for checking venues and transportation would need to be maintained to ensure that those who require assistance are able to access this.
  • Ongoing promotional activities should be continued to raise awareness of the classes on a continuous basis.
  • The mix of social opportunities and physical activities should be sustained to cater for the physical and wellbeing outcomes that the programme contributes toward.

Evidence to action

This was one of four evidence to action projects coordinated by What Works Scotland. The projects ran from 2016 to 2017.

All of the projects aimed to explore how evidence can help public sector reform and inform public sector practice. The four projects involved a range of public sector partners including South Ayrshire Council, High Life Highland, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, NHS Health Scotland and various academic institutions.

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An outcome-focused evaluation of High Life: Highland’s Falls Prevention Programme (PDF)

More details

Report authors: 

Type pf publication: Evidence review

Date of publication: September 2018