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Thursday, 22 November, 2001, 11:30 GMT
Broken hip survival lottery
hip beds
Thousands of hip replacements are done every year
The chances of survival following a broken hip can depend on which part of the country you live in, suggests research

The guide, published in the Times newspaper, reports that patients are over four times more likely to die in Britain's worst hospitals.

Worst survival rates
(Number of deaths per 100,000 in the past year)
Blackpool Victoria Hospital(15,389)
St Helen's & Knowsley Hospital(16,304)
Wigan & Leigh Healthcare(17,322)

Each year in the UK more than 60,000 elderly people require admission to hospital following a broken hip.

According to the report the most common causes of death following admission with a broken hip are pneumonia, blood clots and infections.

In the best hospitals the death rate is below 6%, whereas in the worst a patient's chances of dying are as high as 17%.

At the bottom of the table is Wigan and Leigh Healthcare in Wigan which has a calculated mortality rate of 17,322 per 100,000.

Sheena Cumiskey, chief executive of the trust, said in a statement: "Unfortunately, many of the patients admitted are very poorly and many of them are too poorly to undergo surgery."

At the other end of the scale is Hillingdon Hospital in Uxbridge, where the death rate per 100,000 in the last year was 3,463.

Best survival rates
(Number of deaths per 100,000 in the past year)
Hillingdon Hospital, Uxbridge (3,463)
King's Healthcare, London (3,739)
Scunthorpe & Goole Hospitals(4,063)
Weston Area Health (4,261)
Hereford Hospitals (5,015)
North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Trust (5,205)
Salisbury Healthcare (5,034)
Eastbourne Hospitals (5,639)
Chief Executive, David McVittie, said: "I am delighted for the orthopaedic team and it is a real boost for the hospital.

"There is a real effort to fast-track patients. Also, we have five consultant orthopaedic surgeons who take it in turns to be on call for trauma.

"They each do one week in five and they clear their diaries for the rest of that week.

"They are purely there to see admissions, operate and administer post-operative care."

Many of the better hospitals have taken measures to reduce death rates which include:

  • moving the patients out of casualty within one hour

  • administering antibiotics to ward off infection

  • performing the operation within 24-hours.

    It is also recommended that patients become mobile as soon as possible following treatment.

    The figures were compiled by the independent research unit Dr Foster - using official government hospital statistics.

  • See also:

    02 Jul 01 | Health
    Hip joint register launched
    10 Apr 00 | Health
    Hip joint advice 'could save 8m'
    05 Apr 01 | Health
    Longer-lasting hip-joint hope
    20 Dec 00 | Health
    National 'hip register' call
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