Patients safer as hip fractures reduced

Patient safety manager Sonia Nosheen, divisional director of nursing Jed Walton-Pollard and acute falls lead nurse Helen Howard.
Patient safety manager Sonia Nosheen, divisional director of nursing Jed Walton-Pollard and acute falls lead nurse Helen Howard.

Staff at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust are keeping their promise to provide safe, personal and effective care with the news that no hip fractures were recorded on any of its wards in the past three months.

A recent report published by the Nuffield Trust found that the number of hip fractures, also known as fractured neck of femur, in England has increased by more than 15% due to the increase in the numbers of very old people.

However, at East Lancashire, zero hip fractures were recorded between September and November on in-patient wards at Clitheroe Community Hospital, plus the Royal Blackburn Hospital, Burnley General Hospital, Pendle Community Hospital and Accrington Victoria Community Hospital.

“Good nursing care and new ways of thinking are paying off for our patients at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust,” said director of nursing, Christine Pearson.

“Falls remain a cause of harm to patients in hospitals worldwide and can be difficult to eradicate.

“Tto have no hip fractures for three months is a tribute to the excellent care provided by our nurses and health care assistants, and the quality of training we give to reduce falls.”

Prior to September, an average of three patients a month suffered hip fracture after falling on a hospital ward.

“Hip fractures are one of the most serious fall injuries,” said lead falls nurse, Sister Helen Howard.

“It is hard to recover from a hip fracture and as the population gets older, the number of hip fractures is, unfortunately, likely to go up.

“So to have no hip fractures at all for three months is good news for patients and for the NHS as the cost of each hip fracture is estimated at £25,000 and hip fracture patients typically spend over 20 days in a hospital bed.”

The Trust’s success in drastically reducing hip fractures for three months follows its achievements in cutting the overall number of in-patient falls by 19% in the two-year period up to September 2016.