It is widely recognised that after a hospital stay, home is where people want to be - within communities, in a familiar setting, where they are able live autonomously. If people are discharged sooner after effective, quality care, they are more likely to have better health-related outcomes, including years spent in good health.  

The principle aim of the Scottish Hip Fracture Audit (SHFA) is to return more people back home safely after hip fracture. Findings from this year’s SHFA audit, published on 17 August, shows that NHS Boards have worked tirelessly to maintain and improve standards of care for this vulnerable group of patients against the backdrop of the unprecedented strain experienced by healthcare services due to COVID-19.  

SHFA is a truly collaborative effort between Public Health Scotland, NHS Boards and Scottish Government and maintaining this joint working is essential to drive continuous improvement. Together, we have worked on the story behind the audit standards, data and results: showing why the results matter; assuring users of the quality and robustness of the data and ability to benchmark performance against other hospitals; and shifting the perspective from judgement to a standpoint of trust and integrity. Now, clinical staff can focus on discovering the improvements needed to make a difference to patients, safe in the knowledge that the audit will help to support this.

By improving outcomes, we can shift sustaining a hip fracture from being life changing/life limiting for many older people to being an event people can recover well from. This helps to drive improvements in population health and reduce health inequalities.

Read the 2020 Scottish Hip Fracture Audit Report.

Read about some of the improvements made by clinical staff in 2020 on the SHFA website (external website).


The Scottish National Audit Programme (SNAP) staff at PHS manage the technical aspects of the data collection, data management and analysis, and also provide the translational link between the data and reality, adding intelligence and insight to findings.

The audit is led by a multidiscipline, multi-agency steering group, members of which include NHS Board clinical staff representing the multiple professions involved in hip fracture care as well as the national clinical improvement lead from the Scottish Government.

Last updated: 06 October 2022