Patients who have been treated on the Emmer Green Hip Fracture Unit at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust joined staff for some “thoroughly enjoyable celebrations” to mark the first anniversary of the Trust’s dedicated specialist ward on Wednesday 24 February.
Transforming hip fracture care at the hospital, the service which began as a liaison service and 12 bedded rehabilitation ward in 2004. Over the last 12 months it has grown into a dedicated 24 bedded hip fracture unit. The unit achieved one of the best scores in the region for meeting all the criteria for best practice in the Royal College of Physicians’ National Hip Fracture Database’s 2015 annual report.
Dr Apurba Chatterjee, Consultant Orthogeriatrican, said: “The service has come a very long way since its inception and there have been some major milestones along the way as it has continued to develop and grow. In February we took possession of eight monitors that will help to enhance the care of patients before and after surgery. ''
The Trust was one of the vanguard of hospitals to follow recommendations from the National Hip Fracture Database (NHFD) in 2007. The “new thinking” at that time brought together anaesthetic consultants, surgeons, trauma practitioners, therapists and the orthogeriatricians, into an updated way of bringing patients’ treatment together in a new hip fracture patient pathway. This led to remarkable progress in hip fracture care with improvement in preoperative assessments, reducing the time to surgery, improved bone health and decreased length of stay.
Dr Chatterjee continued: “The new unit and its multi-disciplinary approach has really improved patient outcomes. Patients are mobile one day after surgery which means they can leave hospital and go home sooner.”
Sister Bernadette, one of our 82 year old patients, from Wokingham, was full of praise: “I really can’t thank the staff enough for the care I have received. Everyone is 100% devoted to their patients, ensuring they are doing all they can to help them back to full health. I came in just under a week ago after I broke my hip in a fall, and I’m already back up on my feet, walking with a frame and going home. They are truly fantastic.”
As well as improving the patient experience the new unit has also provided the nursing team with the opportunity to develop specialist skills.
Helen Mallock, Sister on Emmer Green said: “All nursing staff on the unit have received special training on pre and post op care for patients with hip fractures. Patients are admitted straight from our Emergency Department and need to be assessed, prepared for theatre, and cared for immediately post op on the unit.
“The whole team has worked extremely hard to get to where we are today. While patients are recovering from the operation, therapists offer falls prevention advice, and as part of their rehabilitation are given the opportunity to use a Wii fit to help with their strength and balance. The unit also has a dedicated ‘care crew’ who lead activities for patients who may have memory problems or conditions such as dementia.”
The nursing staff, therapists and doctors all have one goal; to ensure patients have a good experience from admission through to discharge. Their next project, currently in the planning stage, is to adapt their day room to a multi-functional room, with parallel bars for physiotherapy, a kitchen area for occupational therapy to perform assessments, a space for family meetings, and an area where patients can sit and relax and enjoy a little TV.
In the past year, 422 patients have been treated in the unit. The unit has reduced the time it takes to get from the A&E to the Orthopaedic ward from over 10 hours to just over 6 hours. Percentage of patients mobile on the first day after their surgery has improved from 54.3 % ( 2014-15) to 80.6% (2015-16). Length of stay has reduced from 19.3 days (2014) to 15.2 days (2015)