With an ageing population, providing high-quality care for those suffering from a hip fracture is becoming increasingly important.

Looking at 10 years’ of hospital inpatient activity data, in this analysis we explore the quality of treatment and outcomes for people with hip fractures, one of the most common and serious problems affecting older people.

The number of hip fracture admissions increased by 15.5% between 2001/02 and 2011/12. The increase appears to be mainly due to the general ageing of the population.

The management of these hip fractures in the NHS has changed over this decade, generally for the better, with reductions in 30-day mortality rates and length of hospital stay, and an increase in the proportion of people undergoing surgery within 48 of admission.

A growing community of people are surviving hip fracture

The data point to changes in patterns of care for older people, with shorter lengths of stay but higher levels of readmission being observed. These are consistent with patterns of acute care found elsewhere and an indication of changes in wider health and social care systems.

These data also indicate changes in the population, with a growing community of people surviving hip fracture, with increasing frequency of admission. This group of people will most likely have significant health and social care needs.

There is room for improvement in primary and secondary hip fracture prevention services as the population level rate of hip fracture has not decreased. The fact we are not reducing the incidence of hip fractures, coupled with variations in outcomes at a regional level, suggest a possible reconsideration of prevention strategies is needed.