By gathering nationwide data on the treatment of fractured hips, the National Hip Fracture Database allows hospitals to assess their own performance and plan for how they can deliver better outcomes for people more efficiently. This leads to a better experience for people with fractures and can save the NHS money.

Why was this work needed?

Hip fracture is the most common cause of injury in older people. This single injury accounts for around 1% of the NHS’s overall budget. Treating people with this injury requires different members of staff across health and social care to work closely together, in order to deliver the best possible outcomes for people with hip fractures, as well as minimising the strain placed on the NHS.

What happened?

The National Hip Fracture Database (NHFD) is a record of hip fracture care and secondary prevention (preventing any further fractures). All 177 eligible hospitals in England, Wales and Northern Ireland submit their data to the NHFD. The database then publishes annual reports examining the trends in the treatment of hip fractures and providing recommendations.

What were the benefits?

The NHFD reports allow hospitals to understand more about people with hip fractures, and plan appropriately. For example, it is now known that hospitals should plan for one hip fracture for every thousand people in the local area they treat, and that outcomes are better when different specialists work together to treat people.

The report allows hospitals to compare their performance and plan where they may need to improve. The reports also provide specific recommendations for improving treatment, for example the 2016 report emphasised the importance of hospitals engaging with community and rehabilitation services.

What type of data was involved?

177 hospitals nationwide submit data on the treatment of people with hip fractures. This includes personal information such as age and gender, information relating to the injury, such as fracture type, and treatment information, such as details of surgery.

The data is also linked with Hospital Episode Statistic (HES) data.

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and Crown Informatics are commissioned by the NHS to collect the data. Access is based on a Section 251 approval (NHS Act 2006).

Who funded and collaborated on this work?

This work is commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) and managed by the RCP in partnership with Crown Informatics. The work is done in association with the British Orthopaedic Association, the British Geriatrics Society, the Royal College of Surgeons, Age UK, the National Osteoporosis Society and the Falls and Fractures Alliance.

Where can I go for more information?

The National Hip Fracture Database

National Hip Fracture Database (NHFD) annual report 2016

National Hip Fracture Database (FHFD) annual report 2017