Newcastle Hospitals Trust Fracture Liaison Service earns gold-star recognition

Capture the Fracture rating system
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Advancing from a bronze to gold Capture the Fracture® level of achievement, this FLS demonstrates that secondary fracture prevention services can be continually developed and improved.

This month, the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) Capture the Fracture® programme has awarded GOLD star recognition to the Newcastle Hospitals Trust Fracture Liaison Service (FLS).

The FLS has moved from a BRONZE to a GOLD Capture the Fracture®Best Practice Recognition standard. It is the only FLS service currently recognized by IOF in the North East of England and one of only four centres in the British Isles to have been credited with a GOLD standard.

Dr Terry Aspray, a Consultant Physician at Newcastle Hospitals Trust with a special interest in osteoporosis said,

This is a great testament to the hard work of our team looking after patients who fracture, whether as an inpatient Ortho-Rehabilitation Services or an outpatient in our Fracture Liaison Service at the RVI.”

The Newcastle FLS was first developed in 1999, and since then more than 12,000 outpatients have been assessed. The FLS also assesses inpatients within the ortho-rehabilitation services. One of the service’s unique features is that it is a ‘one-stop-shop’, all under the review of the clinic’s Orthopaedic Surgeons.

The FLS is nurse-led for all assessments (including DXA) which are performed in the Fracture Clinic. Complete services are offered by the specialist nurse while patients are waiting to see their orthopaedic surgeon. Key aspects include:

  • All patients aged over 50 years with a low trauma fracture have a fracture risk assessment, including a lifestyle questionnaire and bone mineral density measurement.
  • A standard letter is sent out to family doctors, which includes the results of the assessment and treatment recommendations.
  • There is a weekly dedicated Bone Clinic in the fracture clinic to follow up more complex cases, while the inpatient assessments performed by the orthopaedic rehabilitation team are supported by FLS staff.

In its ‘Best Practice Recognition Programme’ evaluation, the Newcastle FLS scored 4.0 out of a maximum potential of 5.0 points.The success of the FLS is related to certain important factors, including: ambitious targeting of all patients aged over 50 years who sustain a fracture; co-ordination between orthopaedic, geriatric medical and metabolic bone services; and the support of health service commissioners and hospital managers. 

Notwithstanding the GOLD-star recognition, Dr Aspray affirms that the service will continue to strive for improvement, saying,

We must now focus on maintaining and improving services, including targeting vertebral fracture case finding, and the assessment and promotion of access for primary care to fracture risk assessment of patients with and without a fragility fracture."

A successful FLS can only be run thanks to the hard work and dedication of many different staff members. Dr. Aspray added,

“Congratulations to Orthopaedic Rehabilitation and the Fracture Liaison Service - especially our nurse-led clinics - and to all the staff of the Fracture Clinic for supporting this invaluable service!”

Inspiring FLS excellence around the world

The Capture the Fracture® Map of Best Practice currently highlights 128 FLS services of which 77 have been reviewed against the Best Practice Framework. The Newcastle FLS outlined above is one of only height centres across Europe, and one of only 31 centres around the world, to have been credited with a GOLD standard.

Muriel Schneider, Capture the Fracture® Coordinator at the International Osteoporosis Foundation, said,

The Best Practice Framework guidance is designed to allow for progressive improvement of Fracture Liaison Services. The Newcastle example shows that step-by step, an FLS can expand and improve its patient services and overall effectiveness. We hope that Newcastle, like other GOLD star services, help to inspire other FLS to ‘Go for Gold’ too.”

To ensure that your institution’s FLS gets the recognition it deserves, IOF invites you to complete the application form. Your service will be placed on the global Map of Best Practice and, with your permission, will be assessed for bronze, silver or gold recognition.

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Newcastle Hospitals news

About Capture the Fracture®
Capture the Fracture® is a multi-stakeholder initiative led by the International Osteoporosis Foundation. The initiative hopes to drive change so that secondary fracture prevention becomes a reality around the world. It aims to illustrate global best practice for FLS; set benchmarks to which clinics and hospitals can aspire; provide essential resources and documentation; give international recognition to FLS programmes around the world; and establish mentoring and grant programmes to assist development of FLS at the local level.

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