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New National Hip Fracture Database (NHFD) annual report shows that hip fracture mortality figures continue to improve

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP)’s Falls and Fragility Fracture Audit Programme (FFFAP) has today published its annual National Hip Fracture Database (NHFD) report.

Established in 2007 as a collaboration between the British Orthopaedic Association (BOA) and the British Geriatrics Society (BGS), the 2019 NHFD report presents the results of analysis on the care received by patients after a fragility hip fracture, admitted to acute units in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

This year’s report collates data and information from between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2018.

The 2019 report demonstrates that mortality has continued to improve. However, increased numbers of hip fractures in winter months contribute to increased mortality at a time of increased pressure on trauma services.

Today’s report also shows that one in five patients are still not able to get out of bed on the day after surgery and recommends that prompt mobilisation after surgery is everyone’s responsibility.

Antony Johansen, orthogeriatrician and NHFD clinical lead said:

“The NHFD has facilitated improvements in the care of frail and older people with hip fracture, reversing the fatalism with which their care, recovery and outcome was so often viewed in previous decades.

“Deaths following hip fracture may have halved since 2007, but patients tell us just how distressing hip fracture can still be, even for younger and fitter people.

“It reminds us to focus on understanding people's experience, both in and out of hospital, and on ensuring that they return to their former lifestyle; topics that this report and future work need to address.”

Alison Doyle, head of clinical practice, Royal Osteoporosis Society said:

'12% of people who have a hip fracture will go onto fracture their other hip within the same year, so it’s worrying that this year’s report shows a decline in the use of bone protection medication. Just 8.2% of people admitted for a hip fracture were already on treatment to reduce the risk of further fracture and one in four people (24.7%) were not prescribed anything to protect their bones going forward.

“Hip fractures are preventable and often preceded by less devastating fractures, such as a wrist fracture. While the reduction in mortality rate is to be welcomed, this year’s shows hip fractures continue to have poor outcomes. Many individuals never make it back to their own home and end up going into care, which has a significant impact on the individual, NHS and social care system. More work needs to be done to ensure that anyone over the age of 50 who experiences any kind of fracture is directed towards a Fracture Liaison Service and put on a treatment pathway to reduce the risk of them ever experiencing a hip fracture.'

Find out more, and read the full report here.