Latest data shows patients receive high-quality hip fracture care at West Suffolk Hospital

The latest data from the National Hip Fracture Database (NHFD) confirms West Suffolk Hospital (WSH) patients are receiving some of the best hip fracture care in England and Wales.

Hip fractures are cracks or breaks in the top of the thigh bone (femur) close to the hip joint, usually caused by a fall or an injury to the side of the hip. One of the most common serious injuries for older people, hip fractures are the main reason for emergency surgery in older patients.

Left to right: Kasia Bojarska – Data and Information Coordinator – Orthopaedics, Dr Jonathan Nicolson – Lead Anaesthetist Consultant, Sheryl Pidgeon – Ward Manager, Nikki Smith – Lead Physiotherapist, Ann Alexander – Lead Occupational Therapist, Mr Konrad Wronka – Lead Consultant for femoral fractures, Dr Mohanraj Suresh – Ortho-Geriatrician Consultant, Helen Ann Boulton – Advanced Clinical Trauma & Orthopaedic Practitioner (Lead to Trauma Practitioners), Arabelle Mijares – Trauma Practitioner

Not only is the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT), which runs the WSH, top in the country for meeting best practice criteria for patients treated for a hip fracture, but it also recorded its highest ever best practice score of 96.4 percent of patients meeting all eight criteria. This is compared to a national average of 50.1 percent.

100 percent scores were achieved for all patients receiving a perioperative medical assessment; as well as nutritional risk, falls and bone health assessments.

It is very much a multidisciplinary team effort to achieve this high standard in the NHFD metrics and provide the best possible holistic care for patients. The team is made up of professionals including doctors, nurses, trauma practitioners and rehabilitation specialists – all including the Trust’s data management officer play a part and contribute to achieving better outcomes for patients.

Dr Mohanraj Suresh, WSFT consultant in elderly care medicine, said: “Due to Suffolk’s ageing population we see a lot of older patients with hip fractures and sometimes they are very frail when they come to us. Rapid decisions about care and action are very important to help them regain mobility and a good quality of independence. Initial assessment, prompt and timely surgery and post-operative rehabilitation are key in achieving good outcomes for those patients.

“Using the criteria set by the National Hip Fracture Database as a way to measure our effectiveness ensures we continuously aim to improve our patients’ outcomes.”

Mr Konrad Wronka, WSFT hip fracture lead consultant, said: “Patient care is our priority, and it is our organised multidisciplinary team approach that enables us to deliver such an effective hip fracture service to our patients.

“Thanks to the effort and dedication of all the staff in the Trust, we managed to provide gold standard care to our very frail population of patients. Last year, our department achieved the best result ever recorded in the UK. We will continue to work hard and build on our successes.”

The National Hip Fracture Database (NHFD) was started in 2008 and outlined parameters to measure and deliver good quality hip fracture care. These became criteria for trusts to achieve best practice and most importantly improve the overall quality of care for patients.

There is always more work to do, and the Trust is reviewing the latest recommendations set by the Royal College of Physicians, particularly around moving patients to the appropriate specialist wards in a timely manner and getting patients up and mobile the day after surgery. Focused on developing its physiotherapy service, and trialling a project in nutritional support, the Trust aims to improve outcomes such as early mobilisation and reductions in length of stay. A new clinical pathway is also being put in place, to allow a side room in the trauma ward to be used for timely admission of patients from the emergency department.

Dr Paul Molyneux, WSFT medical director, said: “I am incredibly proud of the orthopaedic team, and every colleague involved in the care of our patients with hip fractures. There has been a huge effort to deliver the best outcomes for patients and we have been a site for excellence in caring for frail patients sustaining hip fractures for many years.

“To place top in the country for 2023 and achieve the highest score by any trust is an amazing achievement and is a testament to the hard work and commitment of the whole team.”