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West Suffolk top in the east of England for hip fracture care

The National Hip Fracture Database rates West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) as top in the east of England for the care patients receive when attending with a hip fracture, and sixth nationally, up three places from last year.

Hip fracture is the most common serious injury in older people, often resulting in lengthy hospital stays with only a minority of patients regaining their previous abilities and often needing long-term care.

An integrated staff team, including specialists from the emergency department, orthopaedics, elderly medicine and physiotherapy, work hard to deliver against best clinical practice guidelines. The team has introduced regular virtual fracture clinics at West Suffolk Hospital, a key part of the care given to patients attending with musculoskeletal injuries. Patient needs are assessed to identify immediate care needs and ensure they see the right specialist at the earliest opportunity.

WSFT achieved 85.1% in the best practice tariff*, the highest in the east region, against a national average of 65.6%. Records show that:

  • 100% of patients received a bone health assessment (national average 97.2%)
  • 88.2% of patients had surgery on the day of, or day after, admission (national average 71.5%)
  • 80.2% of patients were mobilised out of bed on the day after surgery (national average 76.1%)
  • The average overall length of stay in days was 17 (national average 21.1 days)

Mr Samuel Parsons, orthopaedic consultant at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, explained: “Patient care is our priority and it is our team effort and organised approach that enables us to deliver this high quality service for the community. We see a lot of elderly patients with hip fractures and using the criteria set by the National Hip Fracture Database as a way to measure our effectiveness means we continuously aim to improve outcomes for them. For example, ensuring patients are mobilised out of bed the day after surgery not only means they feel better and are on their way to getting home, but that they are less likely to be affected by conditions such as pressure ulcers, common in people confined to lying in bed or sitting for prolonged periods of time.

“For our more elderly patients, hip surgery can really take its toll on their health. They are sometimes very frail when they come to us, so it is paramount that we act quickly to enable them to regain mobility and a good quality of independent life.”

WSFT was one of the first trusts in the country to implement an integrated, streamlined approach to hip fracture care, and many other hospitals visit to learn and emulate this service. 

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Mr Samuel Parsons, orthopaedic consultant.

Mr Samuel Parsons, orthopaedic consultant.