As the adage goes prevention is better than cure, and now a ground-breaking scheme is set to improve bone health and reduce the risk of fractures for residents across mid and south Essex.
A new Fracture Liaison Service, supported by the Royal Osteoporosis Society, aims to prevent hundreds of fractures, helping people over 50 years old to have stronger bones.
Across mid and south Essex (MSE), there are estimated to be between 8,000 – 10, 000 osteoporosis related fractures per year. Osteoporosis weakens bones to the point that they can break easily. Fractures are the fourth worst cause of early disability and death in mid and south Essex.
The new pioneering service will help increase the quality of life for local residents, ensuring over 50s at risk of osteoporosis (fragile bones), receive a comprehensive assessment and care plan tailored to their needs. Ongoing support and education will also ensure residents are armed with knowledge about fracture prevention and self-management strategies.
“This is great news and an amazing step forward for the population of mid and south Essex.
Many people have permanent worsening of mobility following a hip fracture, with eight out of every ten people needing a walking aid and the most severely disabled may never regain the ability to stand or walk independently at all. At a system-level, few people know that the cost of ongoing care from social and community services after hip fractures is as great as the immediate cost in hospital admissions, surgery, and rehabilitation.
This exciting service transformation will enable quicker identification, assessment, investigation and treatment for people with Osteoporosis, so their condition can be managed much sooner to prevent fractures.”Dr Way Wong, Clinical Lead for the Fracture Liaison Service at NHS Mid and South Essex Foundation Trust said:
“We expect this clinically-led, new service to have a really positive impact on improving people’s lives. This investment is part of our commitment, working together with local people, to get upstream and prevent problems like fractures from happening, rather than just focussing on fixing things after they have occurred. We want to keep people as healthy and independent for as long as possible.”
Now that investment has been agreed, local healthcare professionals working through MSE’s Stewardship programme, will help inform how best to roll out the service. It is anticipated that the service will begin to be rolled out in the early part of 2024.Dr Peter Scolding, Assistant Medical Director for NHS Mid and South Essex ICB, said: