Hospital trust’s fracture unit praised in national report

Members of the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust hip fracture team
Members of the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust hip fracture team

Hospital chiefs have become one of only a handful in the country to be recognised for helping to save the lives of patients with hip fractures.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has been named in the Royal College of Physicians’ latest National Hip Fracture Database (NHFD) annual report alongside ten other trusts.

Specifically, it has been praised because fewer of its patients die within 30 days of developing a hip fracture when compared to the national average and most other hip fracture units.

The trust says it prides itself on having a hugely successful orthopaedic unit that embraces joined up working with committed staff who deliver good quality care to their patients.

The unit’s two consultants, Dr Ward and Dr Blackett, provide a dynamic service tailored to their orthopaedic geriatric patients.

While many trusts review patients only once during their stay, the trust assesses patients when they are admitted and reassesses them right through to the point they are discharged.

The team is also made up of two orthopaedic geriatric nurse practitioners who support the service by ensuring that patients get any additional care they might need.

Consultant physician Chris Ward said: “We are constantly reviewing our processes to ensure that we are able to provide the best possible care for our patients.

“By taking an innovative approach to the delivery of our in-patient care, we ensure that our hip fracture patients are reviewed from the point of admission to the point of discharge.

“This means we can continuously monitor their recovery and provide them with any additional care they may need, to help get them back to the comfort of their own home.”

The annual report highlights the importance of understanding the work of individual orthopaedic units and how improving this care will see patients rehabilitated back into their home setting, rather than residential or care facilities.

It contributes to the wider objective of improving care for patients who have had falls or suffered fractures.

Hip fractures cost more than £1billion a year to health and social services.

In the report, Ananda Nanu, president of the British Orthopaedic Association, said: “The publication of this year’s National Hip Fracture Database (NHFD) report is an exemplar of what the NHS is capable of achieving, that very few health systems across the world can match.”