The Scottish Hip Fracture Audit 2019 says that 86% of hip fracture patients admitted to the emergency department met the standard of being transferred to an orthopaedic ward within 4 hours, in 2018.

The length of time people spend in a hospital continues to fall, decreasing from 22 days in 2012 to 17 days in 2018. 57% of patients were in theatre within 24 hours of hospital admission, which is an increase from 55% in previous year.

3 out of 5 hip fracture patients were able to return to their home or care home within 30 days of admission which is similar to last year.

Although 84% of frail patients had a comprehensive geriatric assessment within 3 days of a hip fracture admission, some areas are performing under the national average.

Delirum screening is lower, sitting at under 60% on average, nationally. 

Commenting, Dr Sue Pound, Vice-President of The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and geriatrician said:

We are encouraged that 84% of Scottish patients identified locally as frail had a comprehensive geriatric assessment within 3 days of a hip fracture admission in 2018. This figure is improving year on year, although some parts of the country are unfortunately lagging behind the national average.

A comprehensive geriatric assessment is important for frail patients, because it can help identify an older person's functional ability, physical health, cognition and mental health, and circumstances.

Evidence shows that a comprehensive geriatric assessment increases someone’s likelihood of recovering and being in their own home after an emergency admission to hospital.

We also note that the proportion of patients who had delirium screening in Scottish Emergency Departments remains under 60% nationally – and it is particularly notable that 3 out of 19 Scottish hospitals almost never completed delirium screening.

Delirium is extremely common in people who have suffered a hip fracture, and it is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Early detection is important to ensure timely intervention and management of this very distressing condition for older patients.


1. The Scottish Hip Fracture Audit for 2019 can be found here