Magazine article Public Finance

Older People Receive Poor Fracture Care

Magazine article Public Finance

Older People Receive Poor Fracture Care

Article excerpt

Older people face a postcode lottery of follow-up care after falling and fracturing bones, according to a national audit by the Royal College of Physicians.

Most primary care trusts and NHS trusts are failing to meet national standards as set out by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence and the National Service Framework for Older People on the care and prevention of falls, says the report.

Falls are the commonest reason for older patients to visit accident & emergency departments, and health care for these fractures costs £2bn a year. Hip fractures, which occur in about 60,000 people a year who fall, cost the NHS £1.7bn and are associated with up to 14,000 deaths.

The investigation into 157 trusts found that 80% of people with hip fractures spent more than two hours in A&E before being transferred to a ward, and 31% of operations for hip fractures were delayed beyond the 48-hour target. …

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