In the UK a new All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Osteoporosis and Bone Health has been launched today. The APPG will work to raise awareness of the condition and the importance of bone health among Parliamentarians and NHS leaders.

The Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS), which delivers the Secretariat for the APPG, stated in today's press release that between 2015 and 2020, osteoporosis was raised in the UK Parliament only 31 times. The new cross-party group will help to break the silence and lead the debate for greater access to diagnosis and treatment, including for secondary fractures.

Craig Jones, Chief Executive at the ROS stated:

“Bone health is important for people of all ages and there are 3.5 million people living with osteoporosis in the UK today. Causing over half a million broken bones every year, osteoporosis has a devastating personal, societal and financial impact, with many thousands of people suffering alone and in silence.”

“This APPG is a huge step forward in breaking the silence and unlocking the seismic opportunities for prevention and early intervention. We shouldn’t be satisfied that so many people are missing out on the early diagnosis, treatment and support they deserve. If we get this right, we could save the NHS up to £4.5bn and spare millions of people the pain and disability caused by fractures.”

Upscaling Fracture Liaison Services in England

The ROS points to the need for increased Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) coverage across the UK as only 61% of people in England have access to a FLS, compared with 100% in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Up-scaling coverage could prevent an estimated 5,686 fragility fractures every year, saving the NHS £1.2 million a year.

The APPG will begin its work by discussing a possible Inquiry into the ”postcode lottery” for access to a quality FLS. If approved, the Inquiry would collect evidence and hear from witnesses over the spring and summer, with a report planned for launch by the end of the year.  In this regard, Judith Cummins, Labour MP for Bradford South, the MP who convened the Group said:

“The sheer scale of undiagnosed osteoporosis and the lack of awareness of this condition means our All-Party Parliamentary Group can really make a difference in campaigning for earlier diagnosis and better treatment. I am looking forward to working together with the ROS to end the postcode lottery that currently exists.”

According to the ROS, so far, 22 MPs or Lords have said that they will become a member of the APPG and a further nine have asked to be kept up to date with outcomes of the group’s work. Read the complete ROS press release. 

IOF's President Professor Cyrus Cooper stated:

"It is a particular pleasure for me to congratulate the Royal Osteoporosis Society on this important initiative which will help to drive change by calling attention to the burden of osteoporosis and gaps in service provision among UK policy makers."