15 March 2013
The hip fracture postcode lottery
Some patients are out in 2 weeks, while others are forced to stay in hospital for 6 weeks, according to the National Hip Fracture Database.
This is due to poor care in wards and a lack of support to get patients up and moving. This is delaying the recovery of thousands each year.
Dr Colin Currie, clinical lead for geriatric medicine for the database project, said, “The longer you marinate in hospital after a hip fracture, the worse your chances of making a good recovery. With hip fracture recovery, it’s use it or lose it. You have got to restore function. That means getting out of bed, getting dressed and walking around.”
Patients in some areas are very well looked after while in hospital and on returning home but the care varies greatly among different areas.
Dr Currie added, said: “Looking after hip fracture patients well is cheaper than looking after them badly. If it all worked well, then many more people would do straight home, which would cost a lot less. It would also save money for them to be preventing premature admission to a nursing home.”