Thousands of fracture patients are being denied hip surgery, a study by the University of Liverpool has found.

Every year around 70,000 people in the UK will suffer a hip fracture. According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the best treatment is a total hip replacement as this will help prevent future complications.

The operation needs to be performed within 24 hours of the patient being admitted, or the bones could set in the wrong position.

The procedure should be offered to all patients unless they have cognitive impairments, severe walking problems or cannot have an anaesthetic.

But the University of Liverpool has found vast inconsistencies in care, with less than one third of eligible patients undergoing the operation.

“Unexplained variation in care”

Researchers analysed the care of 114,119 adults over the age of 60 who received hip fracture surgery between July 2011 and April 2015.

They found that just 32% of those who met the criteria were given a total hip replacement, meaning 77,601 patients were left without the treatment they needed.

Patients were denied surgery for reasons such as age, mobility and weight – directly going against the advice of NICE.

The research also showed that patients were 10% less likely to have surgery at the weekend, even though a total hip replacement is needed as a matter of urgency.

The authors of the study concluded that “further efforts are necessary to improve the use of (total hip replacement) for eligible patients and reduce unexplained variation in care for older adults with hip fractures.”

Delayed surgery

If your surgery was wrongfully denied or delayed, causing you to suffer complications, please get in touch with us to discuss legal action.

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