Hip Fracture Care Varies Across NHS

70,000 people a year admitted

A University of Bristol investigation into how patients are cared for when recovering from a hip fracture has revealed that recovery varies across different NHS hospitals around the country.

The research looked at how hospital care affected a patient’s chance of survival, how long patients were staying in hospital, and how often patients needed to be readmitted to hospital.

Around 70,000 people a year are admitted to hospitals with hip fractures, which can lead to a decline in quality of life, increased mortality risk, and a high risk of readmission.

One in 10 died a month after hip fracture

172 hospitals were studied as part of the investigation, and around one in 10 patients died within a month of suffering a hip fracture in some hospitals. In other hospitals, this figure was less than half of this.

This shows the difference in the quality of care patients are receiving across the UK.

Readmission levels also differ

The time patients are staying in hospital also varies widely – with patients in some hospitals staying around 12 days, whilst others stay more than a month.

Readmission levels are also different across the country, with some hospitals reporting a low level of readmission – around four in 100 people – whereas others have high levels of around 30 in 100 people.

An estimated excess of 890 per year, across England and Wales, could be avoided if all hospitals understood the delays happening between discharge and starting community therapy.

Patients should receive same level of care

Celia Gregson, professor in clinical epidemiology and chief investigator of the study, has said that patients should be getting the same level of care wherever they live.

She added that “hospitals can focus on streamlining and improving the quality of their hip fracture services and patient outcomes”.

Worrying state of care for older people

According to Deborah Alsina MBE, chief executive officer of Versus Arthritis, the research shows the worrying state of care for older people across the UK.

Alsina explained that the study shows older people have a higher chance of dying after breaking their hip, and that whether they survive or not depends on what hospital they are treated at.

She went on to explain that hip fractures mainly affect older people, and the success of the treatment is “a key indicator of whether we’re getting older people’s care right in general. This research suggests we are not.”

Risk of patients losing independence

Professor Antony Johansen, clinical lead for the National Hip Fracture Database and an author on the study, said it is vital that hospitals have enough staff.

He explained that this is so patients can get back on their feet, instead of risking losing their independence or losing the will to recover.

If you or a loved one has experienced low-quality care after suffering a hip fracture, then our highly experienced medical negligence solicitors could help you get the justice you deserve.

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