On December 14th, the Royal Osteoporosis Society published the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Osteoporosis and Bone Health's Inquiry report into the postcode lottery for osteoporosis care.
The report highlights the deep inequalities for access to a Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) - the world standard for diagnosing and treating osteoporosis. The FLS model systematically identifies, assesses, and treats anyone who sustains a fracture (broken bone) after the age of 50.
Yet over a third of people in the UK are denied access to an FLS, especially across large parts of England and Wales. ROS data suggests over 50,000 fractures could be prevented in England and Wales over a five-year period if universal access to an FLS is provided to all over 50s who need one.
The report reveals that 38% of people are denied access to a Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) and also highlights:
- Almost a fifth of people (17%) with osteoporosis told the Inquiry they had to wait more than five years for diagnosis.
- Only 51% (63/123) of National Health Service (NHS) Trusts in England provide an FLS, compared to 100% coverage in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
- 28% of Trusts tried to set up an FLS, but found the main barrier to be funding.
- 90,000 people per year are missing out on the medication they need.
The findings highlight the scale of under-diagnosis and missed opportunities in the NHS, while publishing a blueprint for change.
About the APPG
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Osteoporosis and Bone Health was launched on 25 March 2021 to raise awareness of the condition and the importance of bone health among Parliamentarians and NHS leaders. The Royal Osteoporosis Society provides the Secretariat for the group. Read more