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Hat-trick of success for hip fracture care

Friday, 11 July, 2014
Hat-trick of success for hip fracture care

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has been named as one of the best performing trusts in England, under the government’s ‘best practice’ scheme, for its high quality, speedy care of patients suffering broken hips.

For the third consecutive year, North Tyneside General Hospital and Wansbeck General Hospital were the top two hospitals nationally for operating on hip fracture patients within 48 hours of admission – the Department of Health’s recommended best practice time frame.

Over 96 per cent of these patients had surgery within 48 hours of admission with those medically fit mobilised quickly on the day following surgery, which is proven to help aid recovery.  

In the National Hip Fracture Database 2012, published 4 September 2012, the Trust’s hip quality improvement programme ‘HIP QIP’ was highlighted as good practice. This has significantly improved care for hip fracture patients – from the time of admission to hospital, to discharge as well as making sure people can cope once back at home.

Operating on more hip fracture patients than any other north east hospital, around 700 patients were cared for on orthopaedic trauma wards at North Tyneside General Hospital and Wansbeck General Hospital during the past year.

In addition, with the help of specially appointed nutrition assistants, over 80 per cent of hip fracture patients in North Tyneside and Northumberland now also receive additional feeding daily – which helps improve hydration and nutrition during the healing process. 

Mike Reed, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “Hip fracture patients are particularly vulnerable, often very frail, elderly people who need a whole programme of care and support both in hospital, in the community and at home.  

“We know that operating quickly, providing early rehabilitation and effective aftercare for the prevention of further fractures greatly aids recovery. This report describes ‘best practice’ for the NHS and we were delighted to have the two top performing hospitals in the country.”

Ann Wright, director of surgery at the Trust, said: “We run some of the busiest orthopaedic trauma services in the north of England and it is fantastic to be recognised again nationally for our care.  Our success is testament to the hard work and commitment of so many doctors and nurses with effective teamwork across many departments and services.  

“As part of our improvement work on hip fracture care, we have employed additional staff to improve nutrition and patient experience, to manage pain and help patients get on their feet at a very early stage – all of which aids recovery and is proven to help reduce mortality.”

Hip fracture is a common, serious injury for older people that is likely to become more common as the population ages – it can be fatal with around one in ten patients dying within 30 days of the injury.  

Feedback on care from patients and families at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is extremely high with the Trust consistently meeting and exceeding all national standards.

The National Hip Fracture Database 2012 covers more than 180 hospitals across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands and over 60,000 cases of broken hips admitted to hospital between April 2011 and March 2012. The database is the most extensive hip fracture audit in the world.