More than eight out of ten hip fracture patients at the Great Western Hospital are able to get out of bed the day after having major surgery.
Data collected over the last 12 months shows 85 per cent of patients needing a hip fracture surgery were able to move around within 24 hours from leaving theatre.
The statistic is just one of a number of positive figures to have materialised during the first year of an ambitious national project to improve the care given to hip fracture patients.
Experts from GWH joined with their equivalents from five others hospitals in late 2016 to establish the Scaling Up Hip Fracture Care initiative, which allows healthcare professionals working across the country to share learning, ideas for improvements and examples of best practice.
Twelve months on and the collaboration has produced significant results in Swindon.
As well as shortening recovery time after an operation, the time taken to get the operating theatre has also reduced.
Eighty five per cent of patients at GWH now have surgery within 36 hours of fracturing their hip, which is considerably higher than the current national average of just 69 per cent.
Alex Ashmore, Trauma and Orthopaedic Consultant, said: “While it’s fantastic to reel off these impressive statistics – which are an honest reflection of the hard work that’s taken place across the hospital by many different members of the hip fracture team – the real joy comes from knowing we’ve been able to make a difference to patients.
“Not only are people being treated quicker and recovering quicker, more patients are actually living longer.
“Before we started, around 89 per cent of our patients – many of whom are elderly and often suffer from other conditions – were still alive a month after their operation, but we’ve been able to up that to more than 92 per cent.
“In real terms, it means that over the last year we’ve been able to save the lives of around 17 extra patients, which is just phenomenal.”
Hip fractures in older people can often have serious consequences, with statistics showing that around a third of patients die within a year of their accident and a fifth never return to their own home.
At the start of the project, one of the team’s main objectives was to get patients eating more regular and nutritious meals.
A newly appointed nutritional assistant is now helping patients, particularly those who lack the ability to ask for food when hungry, to get the nourishment they need.
As a result, the number of hip fracture patients in Swindon eating an extra meal each day has risen by more than 30 per cent.
The Scaling Up initiative is supported by the Health Foundation and is based on the work of a similar project carried out by teams at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust in 2011.
Their work in Northumbria proved so successful that the Health Foundation decided to expand the project to a further five NHS trusts.
It is hoped that findings from this work will soon be rolled out nationally.
In 2016, more than £1 billion was spent by the NHS on care for the 60,000 people aged 65 and over who attended hospital with a broken hip.