Big improvement in national hip care
Care for hip fracture patients is improving, both in terms of quality and how fast they undergo surgery.
The latest National Hip Fracture Database (NHFD) report reveals that more patients are receiving surgery within 48 hours of admission than in 2012, while the vast majority are receiving a falls assessment before being discharged from hospital.
There are an estimated 70,000 hip fractures a year in the UK - a figure that is expected to increase as the population gets older.
However, the report offers hope that hospitals are now better equipped when it comes to dealing with hip-fracture patients.
It found that 86% of patients now receive surgery within 48 hours, 47% are being assessed by an orthogeriatrician and 94% receive a falls assessment prior to discharge.
In addition, only 3.5% of patients in the last year are reported to have developed pressure ulcers - localised injuries to the skin and/or underlying tissue that usually occur over a bony prominence.
But 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, while the number of patients being admitted to an orthopaedic ward within four hours is down slightly from 52% in 2012 to 50% this year.
The report was compiled by the British Orthopaedic Association, the British Geriatrics Society and the Royal College of Physicians.
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