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Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust –LiA Pioneer team cuts mortality rates by almost a third

Mon 13th January, 2014
Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust –LiA Pioneer team cuts mortality rates by almost a third

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust launched its first wave of LiA Pioneer Teams in October 2012, as part of their intensive focus on engaging and empowering staff to innovate, find solutions to problems, and improve the overall care experience for patients.

The Hip Fracture Pioneer Team was one of the ‘First 10’ to take on the challenge. Their mission was to create a more efficient service for patients and improve rates of recovery. With an ageing population, the successful treatment of hip fractures and the prevention of falls is a key priority at HEY as it is for many Trusts.

By connecting a range of professionals including ward sisters, consultants, occupational therapists, healthcare support workers, anaesthetists, trauma coordinators and physiotherapists, the team came up with new ideas which have led to outstanding results in a short space of time.

Mortality rates amongst this group of patients have reduced by almost a third (28%) since the beginning of the work and the average length of inpatient stay has dropped by a fifth.

Laura Onuoha, Trauma Coordinator for Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust led the Hip Fracture Pioneer Team. She explains:

“Each year, around 500 people are admitted to hospital from across Hull and the East Riding with suspected hip fractures. The majority of these patients are older people who have typically experienced a fall and are being brought in as emergency cases. Once they are in our care, the treatment and support they need to get back on their feet is very specialist.

As a pioneer team, we wanted to look in more detail at what happens to these patients when they come into hospital, and how we might go about speeding up their diagnosis, treatment and recovery. Evidence shows that the sooner a patient can be discharged from hospital, the better their chances of making a complete recovery, so we felt this was a vitally important area to focus on.

We have made a number of changes such as bringing in special air mattresses as soon as we suspect a potential hip fracture, prioritising these patients for x-ray and ensuring every patient and their family meets with a Trauma Coordinator to understand the importance of, for example, their medication, and keeping moving after surgery.

As well as having achieved our original aim of reducing the length of hospital stay for this group of patients, the overall inpatient mortality rate has fallen by a massive 28% too, meaning hip fracture patients are now much less likely to die in hospital as a result of their injuries”.

But the improvements don’t stop there. In addition to helping people live longer, within weeks the team noticed:

  • The average length of hospital stay reduced from an average of 18 days to 14.3 days within 12 weeks – a 20% reduction and more than a day below the national average
  • A 53% reduction in slips, trips and falls amongst the patient group
  • A  40% reduction in the number of pressure sores experienced

Following on from the initial work, the team have adopted LiA as ‘the way we do things around here’ and are continually improving care for their patients.


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