National Osteoporosis Society (UK) launches new manifesto on fracture prevention

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The National Osteoporosis Society (UK) launches a new manifesto that outlines steps to eradicate unnecessary broken bones and save the NHS hundreds of millions of pounds currently spent on fracture care.

Press release issued by the NOS

A new manifesto has been launched today that outlines steps to eradicate unnecessary broken bones and save the NHS hundreds of millions of pounds currently spent on fracture care. The National Osteoporosis Society published detailed actions that Politicians and Policymakers in England must take to stop people with osteoporosis breaking bones again and again. Manifestos for Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland have also been published.

"Painful and debilitating fractures are not an inevitable result of osteoporosis, yet most healthcare services do little to prevent them," said Claire Severgnini, Chief Executive of the National Osteoporosis Society. "Thousands of needless fractures are being allowed to occur each year until this major public health problem and health inequality is tackled. Our manifesto highlights the key challenges that must be met to provide the appropriate diagnosis, care and treatments that people with osteoporosis deserve."

The Osteoporosis Manifesto was presented to MPs at Westminster today and compliments the Prevention Package for Older People, which is currently being developed by the Department of Health to enable the commissioning of high quality falls and fracture prevention services.

Osteoporosis causes fragile bones, which can lead to agonising and disabling fractures. It is a long-term condition which is currently putting 2.3 million people in England at risk of painful fractures, which are costly to treat. Each year, fractures in patients aged 60 years and over account for more than 2 million hospital bed days in England alone.

"Much can be done to prevent these fractures but services are scarce," said Professor David Reid, Chair of the National Osteoporosis Society. "Fracture rates can be halved by the timely identification of osteoporosis and the consequent prescription of treatment to increase bone strength. This Manifesto provides simple guidance to significantly reduce the impact of osteoporosis and fractures."

The Osteoporosis Manifesto identifies five areas where vast improvements are needed: the management of falls, fragility fractures and osteoporosis; clinical guidance; the assessment of clinical performance; primary care services and public awareness and education.

"With budgets pushed to breaking point, focussing on these five key areas would help to save time and money," added Professor Reid. "This isn’t an empty call to action; we know that these measures work. They can improve quality of life, restore independence and help to save thousands of lives each year."

The National Osteoporosis Society is the only UK wide charity dedicated to improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis. In the UK, one in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 will break a bone, mainly because of osteoporosis.1,150 people are dying every month in the UK as a result of hip fractures.

Click here to download the [link http://www.nos.org.uk/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=183&srcid=-2]Osteoporosis Manifesto for England.[/link]