Our Falls and Syncope Service investigates, diagnoses and helps patients who have experienced syncope (blackouts and/or loss of consciousness) and falls.
Having grown out of origins in research, Newcastle’s Falls and Syncope Service is now the largest clinical facility of its kind in Europe.
Our falls and syncope specialists receive requests to see patients from local GPs, colleagues within our own hospitals or community services, and from other healthcare professionals from across the region and country.
In 2006 we established the first Rapid Access service in the UK to allow direct referrals from the North East Ambulance Service, as well as from our own Emergency Department.
Who do we see?
Our patients present with a wide range of problems including:
- loss of consciousness which passes quickly (transient) – particularly syncope (blackout)
- lightheadedness / pre-syncope
- other symptoms related to disordered autonomic nervous system control of heart rate and blood pressure
- gait and balance disorders
Award winning service
With an international reputation for its research and clinical work our staff here have received several national awards for their innovative work in the field of falls and blackouts.
We continually monitor our standards of care and foster innovation through ongoing education and training for all our staff.
What do we do?
All new patients we see undergo a series of highly specialist investigations to help us find out the cause of their condition and we can also assess, identify and treat risk factors for falls, blackouts, dizziness and osteoporosis. Once we know the root of the problem, you can start the right treatment or receive advice to help resolve the problem.
If you are attending the Falls and Syncope Service and it is felt appropriate for your care, you will be referred to the Falls and Syncope Service Physiotherapist.
The majority of people referred to the Falls and Syncope Physiotherapist will be experiencing balance problems, unsteadiness, or dizziness.
On your initial appointment the Physiotherapist will ask you about your falls, unsteadiness and dizziness. They will look at the movement in your joints, muscle strength, balance and walking.
This initial assessment will take approximately 45 minutes. This helps the Physiotherapist to identify whether their assistance is the most appropriate, and if so, areas in your health that require assistance.
These can include strength and balance exercises, coping strategies in the event of any future falls, any requirements you may need at home, walking aids, and mutual goal setting. If necessary the Physiotherapist will also refer you to our Occupational Therapist for a home assessment to identify any assistance that can be given.
Plan of action
A “plan of action” will be agreed between yourself and the Falls and Syncope Service Physiotherapist and a further appointment will be given at your convenience.
Your physiotherapy appointment will go at your pace however it is usual to be seen in clinic approximately every 4 – 6 weeks. The Physiotherapist is also happy to answer any questions you may have.
Things you need to know
The Falls and Syncope Service is a day unit that is currently located within the Belsay Unit at the Campus for Ageing and Vitality (formerly Newcastle General Hospital).
The unit is open between the hours of 9:00am and 5:00pm
Morning Clinic runs from 9:00am until 12:30pm
Afternoon Clinic runs from 1:30 until 5:00pm
If you have difficulty getting to the unit an ambulance can be arranged to collect you from home and return you after your appointment.
For more information about the Falls and Syncope Service, please call us:
Telephone 0191 282 0481