MPs debated the issue in Parlia-ment last week and a powerful group of parliamentarians, including former health secretary Matt Hancock and former cabinet office minister Damian Green, wrote to Jeremy Hunt supporting our fight and demanding action.
The campaign, with the Royal Osteoporosis Society, is calling for £30million extra funding each year for fracture liaison services and for all over-50s to have access to these specialist bone clinics which diagnose and treat osteoporosis.
A bone fracture tsar must also be appointed in each nation to tackle a “postcode lottery” of care. There are now hopes the package of funding might be delivered by the Chancellor in his Autumn Statement next month. It will be a lifeline for sufferers and reduce costs to the economy and the NHS.
“The level of support for the Better Bones Campaign has been staggering and shows the public, professional and political demand for change,” said Judith Cummins during the debate in Parliament on Thursday. The Labour MP for Bradford South added: “Osteo-porosis, historically, has been a condition shrouded in mystery affecting half of all women and a fifth of all men over 50.”
Pointing out the impact on the economy, she said: “67,000 people of working age suffer fractures due to osteoporosis every year. A third of them will leave the workplace completely due to chronic pain.
“Each year 2.1 million sick days are taken in England due to disa-
bility caused by fractures. New analysis provided to the Treasury shows universal access to fracture liaison services could prevent up to 750,000 sick days every year. The Chancellor can’t address labour shortages without decisive action.”
Craig Jones, ROS CEO, said: “The staggering level of support shows the case for universal fracture liaison services has been made – medically, financially, morally.
“All eyes are now on the Autumn Statement – a chance for ministers to show they’re committed to helping people live well in later life and, in particular, to women’s health.”
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