RoSPA’s National Home Safety Symposium in Birmingham in November will consider home safety in the context of public health, addressing the soaring costs of accidents in the home.
Across the UK, more than 5,000 people died in accidents in the home in 2009 and 2.7million are estimated to go to accident and emergency departments seeking treatment each year. The cost of home accidents to UK society is an estimated £45.63billion every year – a figure revealed by RoSPA last year.
But, because the accidents happen behind closed doors in isolated incidents they rarely attract public and media attention: they are Britain’s “hidden epidemic”.
The safety charity’s annual gathering for home safety professionals will this year focus on the importance of highlighting the place of injury prevention on the public health agenda.
In the light of increasing financial pressures, the traditional two-day congress has this year been replaced by a one-day symposium, enabling as many home safety professionals as possible to attend. The event, sponsored by Kid Rapt, will take place on November 1 at Maple House, ETC Venues, Birmingham.
The broad programme will look at the value of home safety – from the core principles of valuing quality of life, to evaluating the effectiveness of home safety interventions to ensure that valuable resources are targeted properly.
Prevention is better than cure, and this holds as true for accident prevention as it does in other areas of public health. Investment in accident prevention offers immediate returns.
Sheila Merrill, RoSPA’s public health adviser, said: “Accidents – especially in the home – are a far greater public health issue than is currently recognised and a strategic approach to accident prevention, placed firmly at the heart of the Government’s public health strategy, is absolutely crucial if lives are to be saved, injuries reduced and dramatic cost savings made.
“The local-level assessment of needs, based on robust data and evidence of best practice, is essential if appropriate services are to be delivered, but clear national leadership and guidance are fundamental if important aspects of public health, such as home accident prevention, are to receive the attention they deserve.
“RoSPA’s Home Safety Symposium will place accident prevention front and centre, and I hope the event will remind everyone of the opportunities afforded by the new public health agenda.”
Delegates booking before September 20 will receive a 20 per cent discount. For more information and to secure a place at the symposium, visit www.rospa.com/events/homesafetysymposium/default.aspx.