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The new neck of femur fracture target: experience in a district general hospital.



The hip fracture "best practice tariff" (BPT) came into effect in April 2010. It advocated two key improvements: surgery within 36 hrs of arrival in the emergency department; and multi-disciplinary care directed by ortho-geriatrician from admission to discharge. The aim of this paper is to look at the 36 hours to operation target and its implications for orthopaedic department trauma service staff in a busy district general hospital, and to evaluate the measures implemented to meet the target.


Trauma-list data, collected from a theatre management system, was compared with trauma patients placed on elective and emergency lists, before and after designated daily trauma lists were implemented.


After a designated daily trauma list was introduced, a significant rise (from 56 per cent to 85 per cent) became evident in the proportion of patients operated on within 36 hrs, between November 2010 to February 2011, while hip fracture cases managed on the elective list fell from 24 per cent to 17 per cent.


Despite adding a half-day trauma list, the trauma service has insufficient capacity to achieve the new BPT for all hip fracture patients in the hospital. Therefore, there is a significant knock-on effect for managing patient overspill on elective services. Will the significant changes in service provision designed to achieve this BPT be cost effective?


This paper aims to answer how busy department staff address an issue that professionals in every English hospital are facing.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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