Breaking the barriers to good nutrition: changing the way we provide nutrition care to hip fracture patients

Mrs Alexandra Fuller1, Ms Amy Haantjens

1Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, Wollongong, Australia

Providing optimal care for patients with a hip fracture is a district priority for the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District. Best practice guidelines indicate that oral nutrition support (ONS) should be provided for this population group1. A hip fracture model of care (HFMOC) was commenced at Wollongong hospital designed to meet these guidelines. The aims of the research were to investigate the feasibility of the HFMOC providing standardised nutrition support to patients admitted to TWH with a hip fracture.

Data was obtained for patients admitted to TWH with a hip fracture pre and post implementation of the HFMOC. Number of patients receiving nutrition intervention, days to implementation of nutrition support and dietary intake was collected for this group.

The number of patients receiving nutrition support increased from 33% at baseline to 87% post implementation of the HFMOC. Timing of dietetic intervention also improved from 3.15 at baseline to 1.25 working days post implementation. Dietary intake data showed an average daily intake of 4015kJ and 42g of protein by patients post implementation. Average intake of the ONS was 38%.

The implementation of the HFMOC was successful in providing nutrition support to a greater number of patients admitted to TWH with a hip fracture in a more timely manner. Overall dietary intake remains an area for improvement for this population however which will be our focus for the next phase of research.


1.            Volkert D et al. ESPEN guideline on clinical nutrition and hydration in geriatrics. Clinical Nutrition. 38 (2019) 10-47


Alex is a Surgical Clinical Lead Dietitian at The Wollongong Hospital. She strongly believes in improving clinical processes and facilitating optimal patient care. She has a keen interest in improving patient care through quality and research particularly in the areas of orthopaedics and gastrointestinal surgery.

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