Hospitals in Northumberland and North Tyneside have once again been named among the top in the country for high quality, timely care of patients who break their hips.
For the fourth consecutive year, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has performed among the best trusts nationally for operating on patients within 36 hours of being admitted to hospital - the government’s recommended ‘best practice tariff’ standard.
Overall, 92 per cent of patients received surgery within 36 hours with the National Hip Fracture Database 2013 naming North Tyneside General Hospital second in the country and Wansbeck General Hospital fourth.
The hospitals were also rated third and fourth in the country for all of the Department of Health’s recommended standards which, in addition to timely surgery, includes early assessment by a specialist physician as well as a surgeon and prevention of further falls.
Over the last four years, Northumbria Healthcare has significantly improved the care of patients who suffer a broken hip - making sure they undergo surgery very quickly. This focuses on patients’ care as soon as they arrive in accident and emergency, in the operating theatre, while they on the wards and when they go home to increase the chances of patients making a full recovery.
This involves a multi-disciplinary team working together to deliver high quality care, effective rehabilitation and continued support when patients go home. On the wards, this includes appointing nutrition assistants to give patients additional feeding each day which helps improve hydration and nutrition during the healing process.
Mike Reed, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Northumbria Healthcare, said: “Suffering a broken hip is an extremely serious condition that potentially can be fatal. People who fall and break their hip are often frail and elderly and are some of our most vulnerable patients.
“As a Trust, we are committed to delivering the very best care to these patients while they are in hospital and when they go home to enable them to make a full recovery and regain their independence with the right support.
“This report showcases the very best hip fracture care in the country and we are pleased that, for the fourth year in a row, we have two of the best performing hospitals in the country. This is down to the hard work of our teams who provide expert care day in, day out in hospitals, in the community and in patients’ homes.”
Ann Wright, director of operations at Northumbria Healthcare, said: “As one of the busiest orthopaedic departments in the North East, we are delighted that, once again, we have been rated as among the best in the country.
“Caring for hip fracture patients is a key priority for us and our programme of care is delivering real benefits for our patients and helping to improve outcomes and patient experience.”
The National Hip Fracture Database is a clinically-led audit of more than 61,000 patients at 186 hospitals in England, Wales and Northern Ireland between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013. It is the largest and fastest-growing national hip fracture audit in the world.