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Hip fracture patients face up to 80-day wait for rehab, survey finds

From BBC - February 8, 2018

Hip fracture patients in England and Wales are waiting up to 80 days to get rehabilitation treatment after leaving hospital, according to a survey of nearly 6,000 patients.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy said people face a "postcode lottery" over waits, with only one in five people being seen within a week.

It said the delay was putting people at increased risk of ill health and falls.

NHS England and NHS Wales both said they were working to improve care.

But what should be happening and what do you do if you or a loved one are left waiting for treatment?

What should happen?

Those who suffer the injury typically receive surgery and then days or weeks of rehab in hospital before being discharged.

NHS guidelines state that after surgery, patients should be offered rehabilitation once a day

But there are no guidelines for what happens after people leave hospital.

The CSP, the professional body for physiotherapists, said their rehab should quickly resume at home in order to ensure the best chances of recovery.

It said ideally there should be no break between rehab in hospital and home, but failing that the wait should be no more than a week.

But what actually happens?

The CSP says there is a "postcode lottery" over treatment, with only one in five people resuming their rehab within a week of leaving hospital.

It found there was an average wait of 15 days before receiving rehab at home.

The amount of rehabilitation patients received also varied greatly, its report found, with some getting less than one hour per week.

Ruth ten Hove, head of research and development at CSP, said the variation was a result of the different care plans set by individual clinical commissioning groups, which oversee rehabilitation care.

The CSP is now calling for guidelines to be established so that care is more consistent across England and Wales.

Why do the delays matter?

Hip fractures are usually caused by falls in elderly people who are frail, unfit and have at least one other long-standing condition, Ms ten Hove said.

A third of the those who suffer the fractures also have dementia, she said.

'Complete loss of independence'

What should you do if you ca not get treatment?

What does the NHS say?

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