March 18, 2009
Patients coming into the Royal Surrey County Hospital with a fractured hip will now benefit from improvements designed to streamline their care.
A new approach to managing patients coming in with a fractured neck of femur, or hip fracture, has been developed as part of the hospital's transformation programme Patients 1st and involved staff from across the hospital involved in the care of these patients. The new treatment journey for patients was officially launched by Chairman Alan Howarth and Director of Nursing and Operations Sue Lewis on the 18th March.
Fractured neck of femur refers to a break to the top of the thigh bone which forms part of the hip joint. This is a common injury in the elderly population, occurring as a result of a fall, often in association with bone thinning or osteoporosis. In 2008, The Royal Surrey County Hospital treated over 370 patients with this fracture and over 50% of these were over 85 years of age.
Patients with fractured neck of femur require specialist care from staff in A and E, anaesthetics, orthopaedics and geriatric medicine. The Patients 1st programme worked with clinicians from all of these disciplines to analyse the way patients are currently treated and to coordinate the delivery of patient care. Importantly, patients who had previously been treated here at the Royal Surrey were involved in planning of the new service.
The launch of the new hip fracture care journey with Director of Operations and Nursing Sue Lewis (far left) and Chairman Alan Howarth (far right)
Speaking about the project Dr Helen Wilson, Consultant Geriatrician, said:
"The care of these patients is often complicated by the presence of other illnesses and requires the involvement of specialists from different fields. Senior clinicians and managers from all departments have worked hard to agree how these patients should be treated. By co-ordinating care we can provide patients with a much smoother treatment pathway, giving them the best chance of a full recovery and shorter stay in hospital."
The changes made for patients include improved communication and processes to prevent unnecessary delays to surgery and the development of a specific fractured neck of femur unit.
A&E Clinical Director Mark Pontin added:
"The aim of this new approach to treatment is to deliver the best possible care for this vulnerable group of patients by utilising the skills of the relevant specialties in a seamless way right from the front door of the A&E department until the day of discharge."
Commenting on the role of Anaesthetics, Anaesthetic Consultant Mike Scott added:
"The new care pathway will involve the latest technology in anaesthesia to measure and improve blood flow around the body. This has been shown to reduce complications and speed up recovery after surgery"
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