Suffolk hospitals buck hip op lottery

HIP operation patients are four times more likely to die after surgery in some hospitals than others, according to new figures.And patients are 60% more likely to die if they are made to wait longer than two days for surgery after being admitted to hospital with a broken hip.

HIP operation patients are four times more likely to die after surgery in some hospitals than others, according to new figures.

And patients are 60% more likely to die if they are made to wait longer than two days for surgery after being admitted to hospital with a broken hip.

But Suffolk hospitals have fared well in the national survey which showed a lottery of care.

Ipswich Hospital was shown to have a death rate four per cent above average and 11 per cent of patients had to wait more than two days for surgery.

West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trust had a mortality rate three per cent below average with 10 per cent waiting more than two days.

This compares to Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust which was shown to have the highest mortality rates for broken hip surgery – 59 per cent above the national average with 37% of patients having to wait more than two days for surgery.

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Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for Ipswich hospital said that the surgeons often carried out very complex operations on older patients.

She said that all patients who surgeons considered needed an operation would be given one.

Ms Rowsell said: "We are probably carrying out more complex operations and orthopaedics is a very big speciality in the hospital.

"An awful lot of work has gone on to make sure we treat people as quickly as we can."

The hospital is also carrying out large projects and have put together teams of people to ensure better support for patients with fractured hips, helping them to remain independent.

Preventative measures have also been put in place with teams making follow up calls to people in their homes who have come in to be treated for a fall.

Ms Rowsell said: "We look at what they do in every day life and assess their homes to see if there is anything we can do.

"For example someone might not realise how steep a back step is as they get older."

Also anyone over the age of 50 who has broken a bone will automatically be screened to see if they are at risk of developing osteoporosis.

Patients made to wait more than 48 hours for an operation on a broken hip more often die from an infection or pneumonia following surgery or heart failure or a stroke, according to the guide.

Patients at Ipswich will be able to be treated quicker when the new critical care centre is built to prevent them having to wait for too long for their operation.

However Ms Rowsell said some patients have to wait longer for surgery to be carried out because of medical reasons.

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