The Waitematā District Health Board (DHB) Fracture Liaison Service has achieved the highest standard of coordinated post-fracture care, earning a Capture the Fracture® Gold Standard certificate in recognition of its exemplary service.

May 7, 2021 - Nyon, Switzerland

A broken bone after a minor fall is often the first sign of underlying osteoporosis. It’s also a warning sign that a fracture patient is at high risk of sustaining further, potentially life-threatening fragility fractures, a risk which is especially high within the following two years. 

This is where a fracture liaison service (FLS) can make an essential difference to a patient’s future. FLS are coordinated, multidisciplinary services which serve to systematically identify, evaluate, treat and monitor fracture patients in order to significantly reduce their risk of suffering serious secondary fractures. 

The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) is very pleased to announce that the first FLS to be established in New Zealand in 2012, the Waitematā District Health Board (DHB) FLS, has earned Gold Standard recognition from the Capture The Fracture® program. The Waitematā DHB FLS identifies and manages around 1500 cases per year. The recognition is based on the 13 standards of the internationally recognized Capture the Fracture®Best Practice Framework and assessment of the FLS’ service level in five domains: in-patient fractures, outpatient fractures, vertebral fractures and organisational characteristics.

Well-deserved Capture the Fracture recognition for an outstanding team effort

IOF CEO Dr Philippe Halbout stated:

“We congratulate the Waitematā District Health Board, FLS leader Dr David Kim, and his entire team for their commitment to excellence in patient care. In fact, New Zealand as a whole sets a wonderful example for all countries around the world, having been a global leader in the movement to initiate post-fracture care services for close to a decade. The country’s exemplary achievements in secondary fracture prevention have been possible thanks to effective multi-stakeholder collaboration between New Zealand’s Accident Compensation Corporation, Ministry of Health, health sector, and the patient national society, Osteoporosis New Zealand.”

Waitematā DHB FLS team, from left: Clerical Administrator Verity Whittaker, Operations Manager Janice Kirkpatrick, Clinical Nurse Specialist Julia Spinley, FLS leader and endocrinologist Dr David Kim, Orthogeriatrician Dr Min Yee Seow, Clinical Nurse Specialist Michelle Cowley


Upon receiving the Capture the Fracture® Gold Standard recognition, endocrinologist Dr David Kim, who has been leading the Waitematā DHB FLS together with a dedicated team since 2014, stated: 

“It was huge when we learned we had achieved the Gold Standard and the whole team was absolutely exalted. It means that if people within our DHB suffer a fragility fracture, even if they don’t realise they have a problem, they can be confident that our system will detect them and make sure they are appropriately evaluated and treated.”

“We’ve always been leaders in the New Zealand fracture liaison service scene, but we will continue to strive to provide a better service to our population.”

Waitematā DHB FLS team, from left: Clerical Administrator Verity Whittaker, Operations Manager Janice Kirkpatrick, Clinical Nurse Specialist Julia Spinley, FLS leader and endocrinologist Dr David Kim, Orthogeriatrician Dr Min Yee Seow, Clinical Nurse Specialist Michelle Cowley.

New Zealand’s Accident Compensation Corporation champions fracture prevention

As early as 2012, the Ministry of Health in New Zealand called on all DHBs to implement a fracture liaison service, and from 2016 this was supported by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), the government agency responsible for injury prevention. The ACC invested NZ$30.5 million to implement FLS in every DHB and to encourage related measures which aim to reduce the social, personal and economic impact of falls. In addition, since 2016, the ACC has been providing support for the New Zealand arm of the Australian and New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry. 

Falls are the most common cause of injury for New Zealanders aged over 65. Up to 30 percent suffer falls each year and 10 to 20 percent of these people are injured, hospitalised or die as a result. The ACC spends nearly $200 million per annum (up 47% since 2013) helping over 65s recover from falls. Without effective fall and fracture prevention interventions, this cost is expected to increase to $400m by 2035.

Paul Kennedy, ACC Targeted Investment Manager, has commended the Waitematā DHB for its outstanding service, and highlighted the ACC’s ongoing commitment to FLS and other measures to reduce falls and fracture incidence in New Zealand:

“Fracture liaison services play a critical role in identifying the underlying issues that could lead to a fracture and putting individualised plans in place to reduce that risk.

“District Health Boards like Waitematā recognise that a good fracture liaison service can systematically reduce serious fractures from falls by 30-50 percent. With the population of over 65s expected to double to 1.2 million by 2035, it’s a no-brainer for us to invest in a programme that can address the resulting increase in demand on New Zealand's health system.”

“Waitematā has done a lot to achieve this Gold Standard - they’re at the front of the pack.”


Further reading:
•    Waitematā DHB Fracture Liaison Service joins elite international Gold Standard ranks

•    Avoiding a fracture future: improving bone health for New Zealanders

•    Capture the Fracture® Best Practice Framework


About Capture the Fracture®

Capture the Fracture® (CTF) is a multi-stakeholder initiative led by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF). The initiative hopes to drive changes at local and international levels, so that secondary fracture prevention becomes a reality. Its aim is to set global best practices for Fracture Liaison Services (FLS), while serving as a benchmark tool to which clinics and hospitals can adhere and aspire to, and receive international recognition. The CTF programme has a diverse set of tools that provides essential resources and documentation to drive quality improvement in FLS; CTF also offers mentorship programmes that support development of FLS at the local level. Currently the CTF network includes 629 FLS in 48 countries worldwide.   #CaptureTheFracture

About IOF
The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) is the world's largest nongovernmental organization dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and related musculoskeletal diseases. IOF members, including committees of scientific researchers as well as more than 260 patient, medical and research societies in 102 locations, work together to make fracture prevention and healthy mobility a worldwide heath care priority. @iofbonehealth