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Two Norfolk hospitals have above average mortality rates for hip fractures

PUBLISHED: 11:47 24 January 2020 | UPDATED: 13:50 24 January 2020

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. NNUH

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. NNUH

Archant © 2018

Two of Norfolk's three hospitals had higher than average mortality rates for people admitted with hip fractures, a report has found.

James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston. Photo: James Paget University HospitalJames Paget University Hospital in Gorleston. Photo: James Paget University Hospital

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) and James Paget Hospital (JPH) dealt with 1604 hip fracture cases during 2018, according to the latest annual National Hip Fracture Database (NHFD) report by the Royal College of Physicians.

Of these 117 people died within 30 days of sustaining the fracture.

And at 7.2pc and 9.6pc, the NNUH and JPH were found to have 30-day mortality rates above the average of 6.1pc for people treated across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, hip fractures are the most common reason for admission to orthopaedic wards, and mainly affect older people.

Those who break their hip are at increased risk of suffering potentially fatal complications, including infections, pneumonia, and cardiovascular conditions such as heart failure or strokes.

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The NHFD was established in 2007, since then, deaths within a month of a hip fracture have halved, with around 4,000 people dying in 2018.

However, the report states that "only a minority of patients will completely regain their previous abilities", with increased dependency and difficulty walking meaning a quarter will need long-term care.

In response to the figures, both the NNUH and JPH said steps had been taken to improve mortality rates.

Erika Denton, NNUH, medical director, said the hospital was one of the busiest fracture units in the country, she said: "We have made significant improvements to our service since 2017 with a redesign of the patient pathway and improved multidisciplinary working."

A spokesperson for JPH said the hospital had recognised its 2018 mortality rates for hip fracture admissions were higher than the national average and as a result had carried out an in depth review.

They said: "The latest figures for 2019 show significant improvement for [hip fracture] mortality rates."

Anil Chakrabarti, a senior clinician in orthopaedics at QEH, said the hospital had been ranked in the top 13 in the country for the lowest death rates within 30 days of operations by the NHFD.

"We are proud of this achievement and the level of healthcare that we provide for our patients," he said.

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