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Outside our orthopaedic unit

The latest report by the National Hip Fracture Database, detailing outcomes for patients admitted to 177 hospitals in England with a hip fracture in 2016 has been released. This shows that Ashford & St. Peter’s Hospitals was in the top 10% for the first time, for achieving best practice in treatment and care, low mortality post operation and shorter length of stay.

Lead Consultant Orthogeriatrican, Dr. Radcliffe Lisk, explained that patients with hip fractures spend a significant amount of time in hospital, recuperating after the operation and undergoing rehabilitation. He said: “Caring for these patients, many of whom are elderly and have several medical, surgical and rehabilitation needs, is complex. They can be in hospital for a long time, which can lead to a sense of ‘institutionalisation’ and a loss of independence. Once they return home, there is also a significant risk of continuing ill-health associated with their hip fracture – only 50% of patients return to their previous level of mobility and 10-20% are discharged to a residential or nursing care placement.”

“This is why immediate post-operative care is so important and we need to work as a close multi-disciplinary team to give patients the confidence to get mobile and regain their independence as quickly as possible. This also reduces the risk of things like pressure ulcers and other hospital-related harm, and enables patients to return home more quickly, which is clearly positive.”

Indeed, the Trust’s average length of stay for hip fracture patients has been steadily falling – from an average of 21.3 days in 2013 to just 15 days in 2016 (against a national average of 21.6 days).

Over the years, the team has also seen significant improvements in achieving ‘best care’ for hip fracture patients. Their 2016 ‘best care’ score - measuring criteria such as the number of operations performed within 36 hours of admission, a multidisciplinary approach, assessment and aftercare) was 83.2% against a national average of 59.2%.

And they’ve been recognised for their low and reducing mortality rates. One measure used by the report is 30 day mortality (the number of patients who die within 30 days of hip fracture surgery). The lowest ever rate of 4.4% was recorded at the Trust against a national average of 6.7% - confirming it as one of the safest hospitals for hip fracture patients.

Dr Lisk said: “We are delighted that all the thought and hard work the Trust has put in over the last few years to improve outcomes for our older and vulnerable patients has been recognised.”

Fellow Consultant Orthogeriatrican, Dr. Keefai Yeong, added: “We have transformed the way we care for our patients with hip fractures. There is greater collaboration and teamwork across the board and this has resulted in the excellent results we have seen. Well done to all of the team as each and every member has made a difference.”