Hip fracture care improving

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17 June 2014

CARE for patients suffering hip fracture is improving, according to a new national report.

The National Hip Fracture Database national report 2013 has found that now 86 per cent of patients receive surgery within 48 hours of attending for hip fracture (compared to 83 per cent in 2012). The study also found that almost all patients (94 per cent) are receiving a falls assessment before being discharged from hospital.

It is estimated that there are 70,000 hip fractures a year in the UK and this is only set to increase as the population gets older. At any one time, over 4,000 NHS beds in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are occupied by a patient recovering from hip fracture. NHFD serves as a means of auditing the management of a condition which is estimated to cost one and a half billion pounds each year.

In spite of the progressive improvements that the NHFD has documented in this and previous reports, there remains considerable variation in the care being offered in different hospitals. There is also considerable variation in the length of time that patients spend in hospital recovering from hip fracture. The report highlights that hospitals in England are achieving reduced lengths of stay with an average of 22 days for hip fracture patients, compared with hospitals in Wales (35 days) and Northern Ireland (33 days).

Dr Kevin Stewart, Clinical Director, Clinical Effectiveness and Evaluation Unit (CEEU), RCP said: "The results from the latest NHFD national report are very encouraging, demonstrating that the quality of care for hip fracture patients continues to improve. Since hip fracture mainly affects frail older patients, it is especially important that we get it right in this vulnerable population. These results have been achieved despite the recent well-publicised pressure on emergency departments."

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