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All-Party Parliamentary Group on Osteoporosis

All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) meet to discuss important issues on a particular subject. Members can be parliamentarians (MPs or Lords) in the UK Parliament from any party but they can't be part of the Government. These groups invite views from other key organisations and individuals. APPGs offer the opportunity to raise awareness of a topic and drive forward work in the area.

The APPG on Osteoporosis and Bone Health was re-started in 2021. This group is working to raise awareness among members of parliament and NHS leaders of the condition and the importance of bone health. The Royal Osteoporosis Society provides the Secretariat for the group.

The group has now published two reports into care for people with osteoporosis. The first examined Fracture Liaison Services (FLS). It found a postcode lottery in the availability of FLS across the country that resulted in under-diagnosis and missed opportunities.

Following the report’s publication, and the ROS’s campaigning, the Welsh government committed to 100% population coverage of FLS across Wales by September 2024. We have also successfully pressed for a public audit of FLS provision in Scotland. We continue to promote further improvements in the quality and availability of FLSs across the UK.

Our second report looked at primary care services for people with osteoporosis and found major shortcomings in identification, treatment and care. The report’s key recommendation was for National Screening Programme to identify people with high fracture risk.

This year, the group is conducting a review of bone density scanning (DXA) services. To inform this, we held an oral evidence session in May, and sent out a Freedom of Information request to all NHS trusts and health boards in the UK to ask about their DXA services. The results of this will be published in a report later in 2023.

 

Causing over half a million broken bones every year, osteoporosis has a devastating personal, societal and financial impact, with many thousands of people suffering alone and in silence. This APPG is a huge step forward in breaking the silence and unlocking the seismic opportunities for prevention and early intervention.                                                              
- Craig Jones, Chief Executive, Royal Osteoporosis Society

All-Party Parliamentary Group Officers

  • Judith Cummins MP (Chair)
  • Lord Black of Brentwood (Co-chair)
  • Peter Dowd MP (Vice-chair)
  • John McDonnell MP (Vice-chair)
  • Nick Smith MP (Vice-chair)
  • Baroness Chisholm of Owlpen (Vice-Chair)
  • Lord Rennard (Vice-chair)

Review of DXA (Bone Density Scanning)

In 2023, the APPG is holding a review of DXA (Bone Densitometry Scan). Using evidence provided by clinicians, patients, and a national audit of DXA services through a Freedom of Information Request, the group will look at how diagnostic services can be improved for the 3.5 million people with osteoporosis in the UK.

The APPG will make recommendations to Government, the NHS and other public bodies on how outcomes for patients can be improved. This will form the basis of a report with policy recommendations to be released in the autumn.

The APPG held an oral evidence session on DXA services in May 2023. You can watch the recording and read the minutes of the oral evidence session, below – meeting 8.   

Inquiry into primary care for people with osteoporosis

In 2022, the APPG launched the final report of its year-long national inquiry into primary care for people with osteoporosis. 

The findings show major shortcomings in osteoporosis identification, treatment and care, with Parliamentarians calling on Government and the NHS to make urgent changes.

The APPG heard powerful oral evidence from leading clinicians, patient advocates and NHS leaders. There were over 500 responses to the call for written evidence. The group conducted interviews with healthcare professionals and collected data on provision in primary care from all over the UK.

The Inquiry’s key recommendation is for a new National Screening Programme to identify people with high fracture risk. This would give fracture prevention the priority it needs. Simple, cheap risk assessment tools can be used in five minutes in the GP surgery and have been proven to prevent hip fractures. 

The Inquiry’s evidence shows a programme of targeted screening for women over 70 would prevent 8,000 hip fractures annually.

Read the full APPG Report here.

The APPG held four oral evidence sessions in and held a launch event for the final report in Parliament. You can watch the recordings of these meetings and read the minutes below - meetings 5 to 7.

Inquiry into the postcode lottery for Fracture Liaison Services

In 2021, the APPG's first inquiry looked into the provision of FLS. The report found that access to FLS is a postcode lottery which results in under-diagnosis and missed opportunities in the NHS. It's recommendations provide a blueprint for change for parliamentarians.

The Inquiry report was supported by: Bone Research Society, British Geriatrics Society, British Orthopaedic Association, British Society of Skeletal Radiologists, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, International Osteoporosis Foundation, and Primary Care Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Medicine Society.

Read the full APPG Report here.

The APPG held three oral evidence sessions in 2021 and a launch event for the final report in Parliament. You can watch the recordings of these meetings and read the minutes below – meetings 1 to 4.

Meetings

The first meeting of the APPG on Osteoporosis and Bone Health was held on 25 March 2021.

Meeting 1, 25 March 2021 - Minutes

Meeting 2, 1 July 2021

Unwarranted variation in care ROS presentation

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Meeting 3, 22 July 2021

What are we trying to achieve for FLS in the NHS? FLS DB presentation

NHFD presentation

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Meeting 4
The third and final oral evidence session of the APPG’s Inquiry into the postcode lottery for Fracture Liaison Services (FLS)

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APPG Report Launch - 14th December 2021

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Meeting 5, 24 February 2022

Minutes

Inquiry launch into Primary Care for people with osteoporosis

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Meeting 6, 26 April 2022 

Minutes

First oral evidence session as part of the inquiry into Primary Care for people with osteoporosis

Meeting 7, 13 July 2022 

Minutes

Second oral evidence session as part of the inquiry into Primary Care for people with osteoporosis

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Meeting 8, 23 May 2023

Minutes

First oral evidence session as part of the review of DXA (Bone Density Scanning)

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How to get involved

If you would like to know more about the work of the APPG on Osteoporosis and Bone Health, please email appg@theros.org.uk

You can also help the APPG to raise issues related to osteoporosis and bone health by contacting your local MP or other elected official and informing them of the APPG’s work.

Disclosure statement

The Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS) aims to increase awareness and discussion of osteoporosis in the four Parliaments and Assemblies of the UK. This aim is shared by our corporate partner, who have given the charity an arms-length grant to help achieve that outcome. Find out more about how we work with our corporate partners here. The ROS is an independent charity, with the interests of patients, their families and the wider public at its heart. Our policy and research is editorially independent, with a view to influencing a wide range of audiences, including corporate partners. All agendas, reports, briefings and papers for meetings are prepared without external input.

Supporting Partner:

        

 

 

Disclaimer

This is not an official website of the House of Commons or the House of Lords. It has not been approved by either House or its committees. All-Party Parliamentary Groups are informal groups of Members of both Houses with a common interest in particular issues. The views expressed in these webpages are those of the group.

Find out more about the work of the APPG

  • If you would like to know more about the work of the APPG on Osteoporosis and Bone Health, please email appg@theros.org.uk

We influence and shape policy and practice at every level through our work with healthcare professionals and policy-makers.

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