Leicester research team smashes recruitment target to important dementia study

17 May 2018

Staff at Leicester’s Hospitals have smashed their recruitment target to a national study for patients who have suffered a hip fracture and who are experiencing confusion.

The PERFECTED study compares an enhanced recovery pathway versus the current national guidelines for caring for patients with hip fractures. There is currently no established best practice for the care of patients with hip fractures who have memory problems like dementia.

Hip fracture patients with dementia tend to have longer stays in hospital and suffer more complications. It is hoped that the study can give insights into how to reduce their stay, minimise complications and improve the flow of patients through their care pathway.

Dr Nicolette Morgan, consultant geriatrician at Leicester’s Hospitals and principal investigator for the study said: “We admit more than 800 patients a year with hip fractures. Unfortunately the rate of mortality is approximately eight per cent at one month after the fracture. For those who survive a hip fracture, the legacy can be life-changing. Many will not return home, and that rate is even higher for those with a memory problem, such as dementia.”

She added: “Taking part in the trial was important to the Trust because it is another way for us to improve dementia care. Ward 32, where the trial was conducted, is an older people friendly ward and was one of the first surgical wards in the country to receive the Quality Mark from the Royal College of Psychiatry. Patients really respond well to the ward and were delighted that they could stay on it as a condition of the trial. They were also pleased to take part in the study to contribute to helping future patients get the best possible care.”

Patients on the study were asked questions about their memory and daily life while on the ward. They were then asked the similar questions at one, three and six months after their operation. Participants were also asked about the care they received in hospital and their mobility at three months post-operation.

Research nurse Sharon Siddons went above and beyond to support the study, from recruiting older people from 65 to 103 years of age and their families into the trial, taking on additional training in completing cognitive assessments, and driving around the county to follow up the patients once they had been discharged from hospital.

Dr Victoria Haunton, NIHR Specialty Lead for Ageing in the East Midlands said: “This is a fantastic and inspirational achievement, and a real testament to the hard work and dedication of the team within orthogeriatrics. This study highlights the importance of clinical research, particularly in frail older people.”

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Notes for editors
Photography caption (l-r): Dr Nicolette Morgan, consultant geriatrician and Sharon Siddons, research nurse