IOF supports ROS campaign calling for 100% Fracture Liaison Service Coverage
The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) and the Capture the Fracture® programme are proud to support the Royal Osteoporosis Society’s (ROS) unique ‘Better Bones’ campaign. For the campaign, the ROS has joined forces with the popular Sunday Express newspaper to call for 100% Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) coverage.
The Better Bones campaign is calling for:
- A mandate from the Government that everyone over 50 should be covered by a quality FLS
- £30m per year additional investment in FLS to fill the gaps in population coverage and quality
- A national Clinical Director to lead the change
IOF CEO Dr. Philippe Halbout stated: “We congratulate the Royal Osteoporosis Society on this unique and wide-reaching initiative which is calling on the Government to ensure 100% access to FLS in England and Wales. FLS are the gold standard for systematically identifying, assessing and treating anyone who breaks a bone after age 50. The IOF Capture the Fracture® programme champions FLS implementation internationally and we are delighted to see how the ROS is leading by example at the national level.”
The campaign, aside from expanding public awareness, has also garnered support from the leading doctors union and seven Royal Colleges representing more than 600,000 doctors, nurses and medics from across the country (See article).
According to the ROS campaign web page:
In England and Wales,only half (51%) of NHS trusts have a FLS. This means 90,000 people are missing out on vital osteoporosis treatment and at risk of further fractures simply because of their postcode.
The campaign calls on the Government to ensure 100% access to FLS in England, meaning equal access to vital osteoporosis treatment and care. This will be in line with Scotland and Northern Ireland who currently have 100% FLS coverage. The Welsh government recently committed to delivering 100% FLS coverage, and now it’s time for Westminster to do the same.
The burden of preventable fractures on the NHS is enormous. 1 million acute hospital bed days are taken up by hip fracture patients and £2bn is spent annually on hip fracture care. Hip fractures are ‘heart attack-level’ events, which impose major burdens on hospitals, ambulances and social care. Many of these fractures are preventable. Half of hip fracture patients had a previous fracture that could have flagged them as being at risk.
FLS is a cost-effective model that requires modest investment for significant return. For every £1 spend on FLS, £3.26 is saved by the NHS. The ROS is calling for just £30m per annum to end the postcode lottery for fracture liaison services. According to the ROS, if everyone in England had access to an effective FLS, 74,000 fractures would be prevented, including 31,000 hip fractures, over five years. This would save the NHS £665m and release 750,000 bed days.
The ROS is also campaigning for better quality FLS in Scotland. In Wales, it will be holding the government to account on its promise to deliver universal FLS by September 2024.
How to get involved
Anyone in England can get involved in the following ways:
· See how your area is doing on providing vital services for preventing fractures.
· Write to your MP or other elected official to ask them to raise this in Parliament.
· If you are a healthcare professional working in bone health, make sure the government knows your views by signing the letter in support of the campaign.