DOZENS of patients who went to Great Western Hospital with hip fractures died within 30 days of suffering the injury, according to new figures.

In 2018, of the 435 people admitted to the hospital 33 died days later.

This represents 6.6 per cent of all patients admitted for a broken hip, slightly higher than the average mortality rate for these injuries of 6.1 per cent.

The figures come from the latest annual National Hip Fracture Database report by the Royal College of Physicians.

Hip fractures are the most common reason for admission to orthopaedic wards, according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, mainly affecting older people who may suffer from osteoporosis, or weak bones.

Those who break their hips are at increased risk of suffering potentially fatal complications, including infections, pneumonia, and cardiovascular conditions such as heart failure or strokes.

A hospital spokesman said the orthopaedic team had made significant improvements in the care of patients with hip fractures in recent years.

“They have been involved in the national scaling up hip quality improvement project which has seen the introduction of interventions such as early mobilisation, prompt surgery, consistent pain relief and standardisation of care.

“As a result of this improvement work, the team has seen a reduction in mortality rates for patients with hip fractures from 11.5 per cent, to 5.4 per cent over the period of the project.

“Their work has also meant that 81.8 per cent of patients receive their operation within 36 hours of admission, which is higher than the national average of 69 per cent, and 84.5 per cent of patients receive surgery in line with NICE guidelines.

“Almost every patient is also seen by a geriatrician - a doctor that specialises in older person’s care - within 72 hours of admission.

“Due to the quality of their improvement work, the team is now considered an exemplar hospital with regards to hip fracture care. It also received the national Golden Hip Award and has hosted numerous other trusts looking to emulate their care pathway.”

Of the patients treated at Great Western Hospital, 126 - representing 29 per cent - were not discharged to their home or within 120 days of their injury.

Across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the figure was 31 per cent of patients.Altogether, the report found Great Western Hospital met best practice criteria in 74 per cent of cases.

NICE recommends that patients who need surgery receive their operation either on the day they arrive at hospital or on the following day, to ensure people recover quickly and regain their mobility.

At Great Western Hospital, 79 patients (18 per cent) had to wait longer than this.

There were also delays for some patients when being admitted to hospital, with only 19 per cent of patients admitted to an orthopaedic ward within the target four hours.

And of those who underwent surgery, 85 per cent had one of the operations recommended by NICE guidance, with the rest undergoing a procedure that is not the one recommended for their type of fracture.