Poole Hospital has been named as one of the best hospitals for treating patients with broken hips for the third time in four years.
The hospital’s performance was described as ‘excellent over a number of years’ in the National Hip Fracture Database (NHFD) 2018 annual report.
The orthogeriatric service has an average length of stay of 15 days compared to the national average of 20 days and one of the lowest 30-day mortality rates in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
This is despite managing the largest number of hip fracture patients in 2017 and having a significant number of patients in the oldest age groups and admitted directly from care homes.
More than 90% of older trauma patients are seen within 24 hours of admission and all are seen within three days, which is in line with measures stated in the report. This early observation helps minimise delays to theatre due to medical complications.
Hip fractures are one of the most serious injuries for the elderly and are the most common reason older people require emergency anaesthesia and surgery.
The service runs seven days a week and is unique for hospitals in England as it also extends to all older trauma patients who have serious fractures. These patients benefit from the same comprehensive review provided to those with a broken hip.
“My care here has been fantastic from day one,” said hip fracture patient Doreen Herrington (pictured).
“The nurses and doctors have been great and there are absolutely no complaints from me. The ward has a very happy and friendly atmosphere.”
The success of the department is down to an effective patient pathway and a strong ethos of teamwork by staff. A set template guides senior medical reviews of perioperative patients when medical problems are most anticipated. This is updated daily and available by 7.30am each weekday morning.
A clinical contact is available to patients by pager during working hours and consultant geriatricians provide weekend support.
“Our strong performance is primarily down to a great team effort,” said Dr Nick Perry, consultant physician in the orthogeriatric service.
“Patients are assessed by senior physicians as soon as possible following their admission and these same doctors are then closely involved in the patient’s care until discharge. I believe that this process is one of the key factors that contributes to the excellent results highlighted in the report and what make such a big difference to outcomes.
”Challenges do remain - getting a patient to surgery in a timely manner can be difficult due to our large numbers of admissions and we need to provide a greater focus on what happens once they have left the hospital.
“This service is something the hospital can pride itself on and we are determined to keep on improving what we offer.”
Photo: Doreen Herrington with Dr Liz Knight from the orthogeriatric service