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Hip fractures 'to cost £6bn by 2036'

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Hospital admissions for hip fracture could almost double and the cost of treating such patients spiral to £6 billion, according to a government-commissioned report.

Compiled by Age UK and the National Osteoporosis Society, the study lays out measures that need to be taken to improve care for patients who suffer fractures - the vast majority of whom are elderly.

It found best practice, laid out by NICE, is only being used in a minority of places.

“This is leaving a majority of older people who suffer falls and fractures at an unnecessary and unacceptable risk of sustaining further injuries and broken bones,” the report said.

The study, ‘Breaking Through: Building Better Falls and Fracture Services in England’, referred to a 2011 audit which found “unacceptable variation in the quality of falls and fracture services” in England, with “a major gap between what organisations report and the actual care provided”.

The audit discovered that often patients were not given the full set of hospital checks and level of support they needed. Unless action is taken, 140,000 people a year could be admitted to hospital for hip fracture by 2036, the report claims. This could see the cost to the NHS and councils soar to more than £6 billion.

The report calls for more emphasis on helping prevent falls in the first place. Consequently it urges GPs, hospitals and local authorities to work more closely together.

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