Wirral MP disappointed as government fails to bring forward funding for fracture services

Margaret Greenwood MP has criticised the government for failing to come forward with funding for universal fracture liaison services (FLS) across England as part of the spring budget.

FLSs do invaluable work in identifying osteoporosis, a disease which leads to 50% of women and 20% of men over the age of 50 suffering a fracture.

According to the Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS), only 51% of NHS trusts in England have FLSs. Many people who break bones will therefore attend A&E and be seen without their underlying osteoporosis being diagnosed and treated, leaving a massive risk that they will suffer further, more serious fractures in the future.

Wirral West MP Margaret Greenwood has been a vocal supporter of the Better Bones Campaign which is led by the ROS and The Sunday Express, and supported by a range of charities, royal medical colleges, and unions.

The campaign has been calling for everyone over the age of 50 to be covered by a quality fracture liaison service, £30 million per year of additional investment in fracture liaison services to fill the gaps in population coverage and quality, and the appointment of a national clinical director for fractures in each UK nation.

Last September, a government minister in the House of Lords seemed to confirm that funding for fracture liaison services was on the way as part of the 2023 autumn statement. However, funding was not forthcoming then, and now the government has again failed to come forward with funding in the spring budget.

Margaret Greenwood MP recently tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) in parliament, calling on the government to fund universal fracture liaison services across England. The EDM has, at the time of publication, been backed by 27 MPs – including fellow Wirral MPs Mick Whitley and Angela Eagle – and can be seen here: https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/61957

Margaret Greenwood MP said, “It is incredibly disappointing that the government has failed to bring forward funding for fracture liaison services.

“This is despite a very strong campaign which has been led by the Royal Osteoporosis Society and The Sunday Express.

“A minister in the House of Lords said last September that the government was proposing to announce a package of prioritised measures to expand the provision of fracture liaison services and improve their current quality, yet we are still waiting.

“The postcode lottery in the coverage of FLS across the country means that annually around 90,000 people of all ages are missing out on vital osteoporosis treatment and are therefore at risk of further fractures.

“This brings huge costs to both the individual and the state.

“81,000 people of working age suffer fractures every year and a third of sufferers will have to leave their jobs as a result.

“The government claims that it wants to try to help people over 50 who are out of work to get back in.

“If that was really the case, the Chancellor would immediately bring forward funding for fracture liaison services.”

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