Offenders using true grit to cut number of county hip fractures

Towcester salt store.'111125M-D589
Towcester salt store.'111125M-D589

CONVICTED criminals will be helping to save elderly people from painful and costly falls on icy footpaths thanks to a pilot gritting scheme.

The scheme will see the footpaths in areas with a high proportion of elderly people gritted in snowy conditions. The scheme is a joint initiative between Northants NHS, Northants County Council, and the Northants Probation Trust. The county’s highways contractor MGWSP will manage the service. Ian McGivney, MGWSP’s head of operational delivery said with the help of offenders they will be able to grit areas not included in their current contract. He added: “We have seen the impact of our recent harsh winters and have really wanted to be able to do more.”

During 2009 there were 83 falls due to people slipping on ice, many of whom suffered hip fractures.

Professor Stephen Horsley, director of public health for NHS Northants said falls were a major priority and that around 50 per cent of those who suffered a hip fracture could no longer live an independent life.

For the first time NCC will now being selling 25kg bags of grit for £5 from all recycling centres.