New ROS research structures announced to close the osteoporosis care gap

Media releases

12 Aug 2022

New ROS research structures announced to close the osteoporosis care gap

The Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS) is announcing a series of changes to its research and educational operations to reflect the changed environment following the pandemic. The new framework was approved by the Board of Trustees based on advice from a Task and Finish Group of researchers, clinicians and Patient Advocates. These decisions reflect the findings of a major strategic review of the charity’s research and education infrastructure, which also incorporated an Independent Review, facilitating lessons from good practice elsewhere in the sector.

The review addressed the structures which might most efficiently deliver the new ROS strategy, focused on activities which can close the osteoporosis care gap (formerly, ‘treatment gap’). Even before the pandemic, two-thirds of people with osteoporosis were missing out on the treatment they need in the NHS. This gap has been widened further still by the impact of COVID-19. In the challenging economic environment, the charity has chosen to focus its resources on funding studies and practical projects that can close the care gap, to end the missed opportunities for fracture prevention. 

The charity will return to the important causes and genetics agenda after the conclusion of the current strategy in 2025.

The new model responds to the need to streamline our operations to reflect the extraordinarily competitive funding environment for charities. ROS’s current professional representative bodies include the five committees and working groups of the Osteoporosis and Bone Research Academy, plus the Research Grants Assessment Panel (RGAP) and the Clinical Committee. As demand on our support services continues to come at record levels, and funding remains tight, the new arrangements involve a simplification of our committees, so we can maximise the funding available for frontline research and innovation grants.

The new framework includes:

  • A single, new expert committee called the Clinical and Research Committee, which will reunite our clinical and academic leaders
  • Strong patient advocate representation across the Clinical and Research Committee and the Research and Innovation Grants Assessment Panel to ensure the needs of people with osteoporosis are at the heart of all our research and clinical operations
  • A wider College of Experts which will bring together all of our expert volunteers from different disciplines
  • Annual grants rounds for research and innovation projects which can demonstrate the greatest potential to close the care gap
  • The return of the ROS Aspiring Leaders course to cultivate the next generation of clinical and academic leaders
  • A new bone health digital network to bring together healthcare professionals and academics to form new collaborations and share best practice
  • A new focus on influencing the top research funders to prioritise osteoporosis and bone health to foster a pipeline of breakthroughs

The new model concludes the ROS Osteoporosis and Bone Research Academy in its original, research-focused form. This follows its successful delivery of the Research Roadmap, the most prominent of the Academy’s founding objectives, together with several key position papers which set out the blueprint for innovative research studies in the coming years. The Research Roadmap will thus continue to guide our research investment decisions over the coming years.

The Academy will be repurposed to become a home for our professional education and leadership cultivation products (The Osteoporosis and Bone Health Academy). This decision reflects the education focus also held within the original Academy’s objectives and the Board’s recognition of the imperative to nurture and support the next generation of osteoporosis clinicians and researchers.

Commenting on the decisions, Chief Executive Craig Jones said:

“We’re confident this new model will deliver a very promising future for research and educational activities at ROS. We know research is a top priority for our members, so we’ll continue the record level of investment we’ve had in it since 2019. To make that possible, we’re streamlining our structures, so we can maximise the resources available for frontline grants.

"I’d like to thank all members of the original Osteoporosis and Bone Research Academy. The Research Roadmap, recent position papers and international recognition are major achievements, which will continue to drive our decisions on where to invest and concentrate our research. We’re looking forward to a pipeline of research bids from ROS-aligned academics to deliver on the Research Roadmap, complemented by our new focus on innovation projects. Together, we’ll close that care gap and get people the help they need to prevent fractures and live well.”

ROS Trustee, Caroline Trewhitt, so chaired the Research Task and Finish Group, said:

“The new streamlined structure will provide a strong platform to deliver the charity's objectives. It strongly affirms the organisations commitment to research and effectively harnesses the crucial and valuable contributions of the full spectrum of health care professionals, academics and lay volunteers”.

The new representative structures will be implemented by the end of the year, aiming for all members to be in a position to start work before Christmas. 


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