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National Osteoporosis Society (NOS)

Welsh Assembly members hear rising fracture figures

Welsh Minister for Health and Social Services, Jane Hutt launched an Osteoporosis and Fracture Prevention Strategy yesterday, devised for Wales by the National Osteoporosis Society (NOS) and the Welsh Osteoporosis Advisory Group (WOAG), which lays out a framework for the prevention and management of the disease.

Ms Hutt was on hand to hear that more than 12,000 bones are broken every year in Wales due to the debilitating bone disease osteoporosis.

Said Ms Hutt: “This strategy is vital to ensure that sufferers across Wales receive the best possible treatment.

“Its launch is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness, drive up quality and reduce unacceptable variations in service across Wales. It also shows the strength of commitment the National Osteoporosis Society has in improving services for people with osteoporosis in Wales and their level of commitment to working with AMs and the Assembly to improve health and social care delivery across Wales.”

During the launch attendees heard that:

• there are more than 4,200 broken hips in Wales each year
• seven percent of people with a hip fracture die in hospital within 30 days
• broken hips costs Welsh health and social services £84 million each year
• this cost is set to rise by at least one percent every year because of Wales’ ageing population

Dr Parvaiz Ali, Chairman of WOAG said: “Whilst we can provide a diagnostic service in South Wales, we need to develop the services further, what’s more – looking at that distribution you would think that there were no patients in North, Mid or South West Wales.

“The strategy can only work if the healthcare professionals in the secondary sector, Local Health Boards and the Assembly can work together. It is one of my dreams to make this document a reality.”
NOS Chief Executive Terry Eccles said: “The cost of treating osteoporosis could be reduced by the effective management of this fragile bone disease.
“The NOS strategy sets out guidance for health professionals to prevent and manage osteoporosis within Local Health Boards (LHBs). The NOS would like to see the diagnosis and treatment of this disease improve, with equal access to osteoporosis services across the country.”

13.11.2003


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