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World leading bone health consultant receives top accolade

Media releases

03 Dec 2020

ONE of the UK’s leading bone health experts has been recognised for his commitment to the treatment and care of people living with osteoporosis in Scotland, the UK and across the world.

Dr Stephen Gallacher was presented the prestigious Linda Edwards Award at the Royal Osteoporosis Society’s (ROS) digital conference Osteoporosis Online on Tuesday 1 December in front of an audience of hundreds of his peers, researchers, and fellow healthcare professionals.

Dr Stephen Gallacher, Consultant Endocrinologist at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, developed the first Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) in 1999 with his then colleague, Professor Alastair McLellan. This was a ground-breaking development which made possible the identification and treatment of osteoporosis for anyone over 50 presenting with fractures and became the definitive model for services across Scotland and the UK.

ROS CEO Craig Jones said: “We are delighted to present the Linda Edwards Award 2020 to Dr Stephen Gallacher for his significant contribution to the field of osteoporosis. Dr Gallacher has advanced the identification and treatment of this life-changing condition, as well as acting as a tireless advocate, changing policy and healthcare services for the better.

Over the last twenty plus years Dr Gallacher has continued to pioneer Fracture Liaison Services and champion osteoporosis in Scotland and around the globe, to fellow healthcare professionals.

Dr Stephen Gallacher said: “I am deeply honoured to receive the Linda Edwards Award for 2020. It is rewarding to see how Fracture Liaison Services have grown, and in many centres flourished, across the UK and beyond. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to help support patients with osteoporosis through the work of the Royal Osteoporosis Society.”

This award recognises:

• Dr Gallacher’s leading role in the development and promotion of Fracture Liaison Services nationally and internationally,
• His strong support for the ROS in Scotland and pivotal role influencing strategy with the Scottish Government and healthcare authorities, and
• His significant and long-term commitment to the ROS as a clinician, expert advisor, and tireless supporter.

ROS Service Lead in Scotland Mayrine Fraser said: “Dr Gallacher was instrumental in setting up the world’s first Fracture Liaison Service right here in Glasgow. His work has revolutionised the care and treatment of osteoporosis and has been instrumental in improving the quality of life for people living with the condition.”

The statistics on osteoporosis show the scale of its impact on the population. One in two women and one in five men will suffer a fracture as a result of osteoporosis in their lifetime, so it is vital that we continue to invest and improve our services to help detect and treat the condition. Currently there are over 300,000 people in Scotland living with the condition. Increasing awareness about the importance of bone health for the whole population at every age is also crucial.

The Royal Osteoporosis Society has this week launched its Research Roadmap for leading clinicians and academics to work towards a cure for osteoporosis. This aims to bridge the gap in knowledge and focus research priorities for the next three to five years which will lead to better understanding, more effective treatments and enable clinicians like Dr Gallacher to utilise the latest technology and artificial intelligence to improve detection and treatment.

Above: Dr Stephen Gallacher receiving the Linda Edwards Award by ROS Service Development Lead in Scotland Mayrine Fraser outside Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow.

Above: Dr Stephen Gallacher receiving the Linda Edwards Award by ROS Service Development Lead in Scotland Mayrine Fraser outside Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow.

Linda Edwards was the founder of the National Osteoporosis Society in 1986 which became the Royal Osteoporosis Society in February 2019. She was a pioneer of osteoporosis advocacy in the UK and around the world and the award was launched in her memory to recognise outstanding achievements in the field of osteoporosis.