Discharge times improving for hip operation patients at Sherwood Forest Hospitals
Sue Horrey, recovering at home after a hip replacement with the support of husband Graham
Sherwood Forest Hospitals is reducing the time it takes patients undergoing hip replacements to be fit for discharge after surgery, according to figures from the Royal College of Physicians.
Results from the National Hip Fracture Database show that the length of time spent in hospital following a hip fracture has fallen from 27.5 days in July 2015 to 21.1 days in July this year.
Consultant Mr Sreebala Srinivasan, who paid tribute to the continuing efforts of hospital staff for sustained improvements in care, said patients needing hip replacements were often elderly and had been admitted as urgent cases following falls.
“National research shows that the impact can be devastating and long-term with many patients never regaining full independence. Some may never fully recover while others will rely on support from social care or have to leave their homes for care or nursing homes,” said Mr Srinivasan.
“The longer their stay in hospital, the more likely this is, so reducing length of stay is better for the patient. It is also the case that most patients would rather be out of hospital and back in their own homes or in a community setting as soon as possible.
“We are really pleased that we are improving our services so patients can enjoy a speedier recovery and regain their independence as quickly as possible.
“Our teams have incorporated National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) best-practice guidelines into the way we handle falls. We aim to operate within 36 hours of admission and members of our orthopaedic multi-disciplinary team will carry out bone and fall assessments – looking at the reasons why our patients fell in the first place and why the fall resulted in such a serious break.
“These could result in advice on diet and food supplements for a patient as well as recommended changes at home to ensure falls do not happen again.”
Sue Horrey broke her right hip after falling while getting out the car outside her Mansfield home.
“It was Friday lunchtime and after an ambulance trip to King’s Mill Hospital and X-rays, I was admitted to ward 12. The operation was carried out on Saturday morning and I was back on the ward within two hours waiting for my husband Graham to arrive.
“A physiotherapist came on the Monday, set me up with crutches and checked I could get up and about and an occupational therapist made sure I had everything I needed at home. I was discharged on the Thursday – six days later.”
The National Hip Fracture Database is part of the Royal College of Physicians’ Falls and Fragility Fracture Audit Programme.
While the annual report considers the care of patients the college says it has wider implications because hip fracture is an ideal marker condition with which to examine and challenge the quality and outcome of the care offered to frail and older patients by the NHS.