IOF supports Better Bones Campaign

The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) and the Capture the Fracture® programme are proud to support the Royal Osteoporosis Society’s (ROS) unique Better Bones Campaign. For the campaign, the ROS has joined forces with the popular Sunday Express newspaper to call for 100% Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) coverage.

The Better Bones Campaign is calling for:

  • A mandate from the Government that everyone over 50 should be covered by a quality FLS
  • £30m per year additional investment in FLS to fill the gaps in population coverage and quality
  • A national Clinical Director to lead the change

IOF CEO Dr Philippe Halbout stated:

“We congratulate the Royal Osteoporosis Society on this unique and wide-reaching initiative which is calling on the Government to ensure 100% access to FLS in England and Wales. FLS are the gold standard for systematically identifying, assessing and treating anyone who breaks a bone after age 50. The IOF Capture the Fracture® programme champions FLS implementation internationally and we are delighted to see how the ROS is leading by example at the national level.” 

The campaign, as well as raising public and political awareness, has also garnered support from the leading doctors union and seven Royal Colleges representing more than 600,000 doctors, nurses, and medics from across the country (See article).

According to the ROS campaign web page:

In England and Wales, only half (51%) of NHS trusts have an FLS. This means 90,000 people are missing out on vital osteoporosis treatment and are at risk of further fractures simply because of their postcode.

The campaign calls on the Government to ensure 100% access to FLS in England, meaning equal access to vital osteoporosis treatment and care. This will be in line with Scotland and Northern Ireland which currently have 100% FLS coverage. The Welsh government recently committed to delivering 100% FLS coverage, and now it’s time for Westminster to do the same.

The problem
The burden of preventable fractures on the NHS is enormous. 1 million acute hospital bed days are taken up by hip fracture patients and £2bn is spent annually on hip fracture care. Hip fractures are ‘heart attack-level’ events, which impose major burdens on hospitals, ambulances and social care. Many of these fractures are preventable. Half of hip fracture patients had a previous fracture that could have flagged them as being at risk.

The solution
FLS is a cost-effective model that requires modest investment for significant return. For every £1 spend on FLS, £3.26 is saved by the NHS. The ROS is calling for just £30m per annum to end the postcode lottery for fracture liaison services. According to the ROS, if everyone in England had access to an effective FLS, 74,000 fractures would be prevented, including 31,000 hip fractures, over five years. This would save the NHS £665m and release 750,000 bed days.

The ROS is also campaigning for better quality FLS in Scotland. In Wales, it will be holding the government to account on its promise to deliver universal FLS by September 2024.

How to get involved
Anyone in England can get involved in the following ways: