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Put an end to postcode lottery for bone health, demands Judith

Judith Cummins MP on Tuesday called for the government to step up and provide 100% coverage for Fracture Liaison Services in England.

Osteoporosis is a long-term health condition characterised by weak bones prone to breaking or fracture. It affects 3.5m people across the UK: a fifth of men and half of women over 50.

A report by the Royal Osteoporosis Society found that 90,000 people miss out on the treatment every year and some 2.2 million people in the UK are left with undiagnosed spinal fractures. Fracture Liaison Services are an essential means of identifying and treating osteoporosis early. Yet, only 57% of people in England have access to this quality of life improving service.

Speaking in the Chamber, Judith called on the government to provide the necessary services, which could prevent over thirty thousand hip fractures by identifying bone problems early:

“An investment of just £27 million per year in Fracture Liaison Services would deliver over £600 million in savings over five years for the NHS.

“Will the Minister meet with me and the Royal Osteoporosis Society, to discuss our report, and commit to ending the postcode lottery by providing 100% coverage for Fracture Liaison Services for over-50s in England?”

Responding, Secretary of State for Health Steve Barclay MP agreed: “Obviously, she sets out a very compelling case in terms of the return on investment. Clearly, we will need to scrutinise that in more detail.”

Judith hears from the Health Secretary there is a ‘compelling case’ for investing in FLS

Speaking afterwards, Judith emphasized the need to act now to ensure that the NHS is not overwhelmed, and people are not unnecessarily left in pain with debilitating fractures:

“Bradford has an exemplary fracture liaison service, but almost half of the country must do without. When these early opportunities to prevent fractures are missed there is a greater pressure on ambulances, acute hospital bed days, and greater stress on the NHS.”

“By acting now to provide full Fracture Liaison Services coverage right across England, we can save people unnecessary pain, save the NHS vital resources, and give all patients the level of care they deserve.”

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