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To save lives, the Government must set new targets to tackle the ‘silent disease’

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Judith poses for a photo with Lord Black and Craig Jones of the ROS
Judith launches a new report with the Royal Osteoporosis Society

As many people die from preventable hip fractures as from lung cancer or diabetes, Judith Cummins MP has revealed.

Speaking on Tuesday in the House of Commons, Bradford South MP Judith Cummins called on the Government to step up its game on bone fracture prevention and save lives.

Judith has been vocal on the issue of Osteoporosis, which affects half of all women and a fifth of all men over 50. It is characterised by a loss of bone density, leaving people vulnerable to breaks and fractures. Because symptoms often aren’t noticed until a serious break, osteoporosis has been called the ‘silent disease’.

Raising the issue in Parliament, Judith highlighted the shocking reality of the condition:

‘Many of these will be serious hip fractures, and as many people will die from these fractures as from lung cancer or diabetes.’

Questioning the Minister, Judith asked why such a serious condition is so often overlooked in healthcare:

‘Can the Minister explain why not even one of the 63 key performance indicators set by NHS England for Integrated Care Boards sets a target for fracture prevention?’

Responding, Maria Caulfield MP, Minister for Women’s Health Strategy, thanked Judith for her longstanding work on bone health. The Minister also highlighted measures the Government is undertaking to tackle Osteoporosis:

‘NHS England is expanding fracture services for higher risk women who do have Osteoporosis to prevent falls in the first place.’

Despite the Government’s claims to be stepping up fracture services, the limits of the current services mean that 74,000 preventable fractures will occur over the next five years, costing the NHS £665 million.

Making fracture prevention a key performance target could lead to stronger delivery of these services, preventing unnecessary pain, giving patients the level of care they deserve, and saving vital NHS resources.

Following the exchange, Judith said that Government support for fracture prevention was still inadequate:

‘Whilst Bradford offers a trailblazing service for those with Osteoporosis, this is not always the case nationally.’

‘The argument for investing in the prevention of fractures is clear: To save money and save lives, we need a government with the sense to invest in the future of women’s health in this country.’

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