Wigan hospital medics working "tirelessly" to improve care after hip fracture deaths

Wigan hospital medics have worked “tirelessly” to improve care for patients with hip fractures, according to a senior doctor, after it was revealed more than 20 patients died in a year.

Friday, 7th February 2020, 8:52 am
Updated Friday, 7th February 2020, 9:10 am
Wigan Infirmary

We reported last month that Wigan Infirmary dealt with 335 hip fractures in 2018, but 21 of those patients died within 30 days of sustaining the injury.

And Wigan had an above average mortality rate at 6.3 per cent, compared to 6.1 per cent nationally.

Dr Sanjay Arya, medical director and consultant cardiologist, has now spoken out about the care given to patients in the borough who receive hip fractures. He described a hip fracture as “an extremely serious condition with notoriously high risk or death and disability”.

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He told the Post: “As a trust, we have a robust system within which parents are managed safely and effectively. We have a dedicated hip fracture team which works tirelessly to ensure that patients receive the best quality care in a timely fashion and with compassion.”

The hip fracture team is made up of consultants from orthopaedics, elderly care physicians and anaesthetics, as well as senior nurses, physiotherapists, pain management teams and trauma co-ordinators.

Dr Arya said staff meet monthly and are accountable for investigating and monitoring performance against nationally set targets or benchmarks.

They review any deaths from hip fracture and perform mortality audits, which are presented at the trust mortality meeting, chaired by Dr Arya, and review in detail the causes of death and any potential areas of concern.

There is also a legal requirement to report any death within 30 days to the coroner.

Dr Arya highlighted a number of areas where Wigan Infirmary was found to be performing better than average compared to the National Hip Fracture Database.

These included acute length of stay, surgery being performed on the day of admission or next day, admission to an orthopaedic ward within four hours and physio assessment the day after surgery.

Dr Arya said: “We would like to reassure the people of Wigan and Leigh that we are committed to continuing to provide high quality care that is delivered with compassion.

“We work in line with national guidelines and would like to reiterate that our local patients are at no additional risk of harm.”