Research Article| Volume 53, ISSUE 4, P1455-1458, April 2022

A comparative study of hip fracture care and outcomes in major trauma centres versus trauma units

Published:February 09, 2022DOI:


      • Following the introduction of MTCs, concerns were raised regarding the effect on hip fracture patients.
      • Using NHFD data we compare outcomes in MTCs vs TUs.
      • There was no statistically significant difference observed in all outcomes for MTC vs TU.
      • FNOF patients in NI waited longer for their surgery but this did not have any significant difference on 30-day mortality rates.
      • These findings are reassuring for MTCs in England.



      There is good evidence to support that major trauma networks significantly reduce morbidity and mortality in severely injured patients. However, following the introduction of major trauma centres (MTCs) in England in 2012, early concerns were raised regarding the effect on hip fracture patients. The aim of our study was to review data from the National Hip Fracture Database for fractured neck of femur (FNOF) patients, comparing patient outcomes between MTCs and trauma units (TUs), and the national regions of the UK.


      NHFD data from 2018 for all hospitals in England, Wales and NI was collected using the charts and dashboards available online. We recorded data for the following outcomes: time to surgery, acute hospital length of stay, overall hospital length of stay, discharge to original residence within 120 days, crude 30-day mortality and adjusted 30-day mortality. We conducted a one-way ANOVA test to calculate statistical differences for each outcome measure by MTC vs TU and then separately for the regions of the UK divided into England, Wales and Northern Ireland (NI).


      Data for 175 hospitals are included in this study; 22 of which were MTCs. The total number of operative cases were 65,848. 9668 of these occurred in MTC compared to 56,180 in TUs. This equates to an annual average of 439 per MTC and 367 per TU. Despite this, there was no statistically significant difference observed in all outcomes for MTC vs TU. Patients in NI waited longer for their surgery (60.3 h, p < 0.001), whilst patients in Wales had the longest overall hospital length of stay (31.6 days, p < 0.001). However, there was no difference in patients’ crude 30-day mortality (p = 0.480) or adjusted 30-day mortality (p = 0.191).


      These findings are reassuring for MTCs in England. We found no evidence to suggest that FNOF patients are treated inferiorly, or have worse outcomes, at MTCs vs TUs. FNOF patients in NI waited longer for their surgery but this did not have any significant difference on 30-day mortality rates. The care of FNOF patients in NI may warrant further study.


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