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West Herts recognised again for improving hip fracture mortality rates

21 June 2016, Jodi-Ann Gayle, Communications officer

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust has been named winner of the Patient Safety category in the 2016 NHS Innovation Competition. The event is organised by Heath Enterprise East (HEE), a leading NHS innovation hub and was held on 9 June.

Picture of Dr Latha Thangaraj (right) and team receiving the awardThe team won the award for their project ‘Living in comfort, cherishing life’, which has "dramatically improved outcomes" for elderly patients following hip fracture surgery. The team also won the Health Service Journal’s prestigious annual awards for Patient Safety in November 2015, where the judges cited the “value driven” and “patient-centred” approach and said West Hertfordshire Hospitals was ”a clear winner in this category”.

Following a mortality alert four years ago the team had to look beyond the best practice guidelines to improve care to their patients. A systematic review paved the way for the introduction to the pathway of several innovative steps resulting in a dramatic reduction in mortality from 12% (2012-2013) to 8.9% (2013-1024) to just 6% (2014-2015) and currently 3% (2015 – 2016). The team were also pleasantly surprised by the reduction in the incidence of delirium as shown by the reduction in one to one nursing, use of antipsychotic agents and improved patient, carer and staff satisfaction.

Dr Latha Thangaraj, the lead for hip fracture at West Herts, said: “The passion and commitment of the team has enabled the Trust to move on from being a statistical outlier for high mortality rate to statistical outlier for low mortality rate. The award of 2500 will go towards improving care for the frailest of our frail patients”.

For more information about our hospitals, visit www.westhertshospitals.nhs.uk. You can also join our 5,124 followers on Twitter (twitter.com/westhertsNHS) or find us on Facebook (facebook.com/westhertsNHS).


  1. For more information, please contact Jodi-Ann Gayle, Communications officer at the Trust’s Communications department on telephone: 01923 436 280 or email: info@whht.nhs.uk. Out of hours, please call 07900 228 031.
  2. West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust is a large acute trust serving people from across Hertfordshire, north London and further afield. It operates from three sites at Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead hospitals and sees about 600,000 patients a year. We are one of the largest employers locally, with around 4,500 staff and volunteers.