• Run by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with the Royal College of Physicians, the British Orthopaedic Association, and the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and Cumbria.
  • Targeting six NHS trusts that are aiming to reduce mortality in their hip fracture patients.
  • Aiming to save lives and secure greater independence for hip fracture patients.
  • Introducing dedicated ward-based nutritional assistants to provide additional nutritional support.

Hip fracture is the most common serious injury in older people, costing the NHS and social care £1bn a year. A fifth of people who fracture their hip won’t return to their own home, and nearly a third will die within a year.

High-quality, safe care requires the coordinated effort of a multidisciplinary team, and the implementation of best practice, evidence-based care.

A successful hip fracture quality improvement programme (HIP QIP) has been running at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust since 2010, a key aspect of which includes prioritising additional nutrition for patients with hip fracture.

The Scaling up for safety: standardising the lessons learnt from a hip fracture quality improvement programme, completed in 2018, replicated the learning from HIP QIP across five UK acute hospital trusts. That project saved 119 lives compared to their baseline mortality, and resulted in a two-day decrease in hospital stay, a 10% increase in patient mobility by the day after surgery and 200 extra patients returning to their own homes.

This Spreading Improvement project will scale up this successful work by improving the hip fracture care provided by six NHS trusts from within the National Hip Fracture Database that wish to reduce mortality via introduction of a shadow best-practice tariff based around improving nutrition.

The specific focus of the two-year programme will be to introduce dedicated ward-based nutritional assistants to provide hip fracture patients with additional nutritional support and increase their calorie intake.

The aim is to save lives and secure greater independence for hip fracture patients, as well as evaluating what factors and circumstances influence the effectiveness of the intervention in order to promote sustainability and widespread adoption.

Contact information

For more information about this project, please contact Professor ​Mike Reed, Clinical Director for Trauma and Orthopaedics at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, or Annie Laverty, Chief Experience Officer, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

About this programme

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Spreading Improvement

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