ROS has successfully made the case for a funded public audit of Fracture Liaison Services in Scotland


17 Apr 2023

A key Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS) campaign has been calling for a public audit of Fracture Liaison Services (FLS) in Scotland, which we’re delighted to learn the Scottish Government has now agreed to fund. This means people in Scotland will have the same transparency on performance data on Scottish FLSs as people have in England and Wales, thanks to the impact of the Fracture Liaison Service Database (FLS-DB) there. Until now, no sister audit has existed in Scotland.

FLS is the world standard for identifying people who have suffered a fracture and facilitating a treatment plan. While Scotland has nominally had 100% FLS coverage of the eligible population, we’ve been concerned that the lack of a public audit has masked serious gaps in performance, resulting in missed opportunities to prevent fractures. In our communication with the Scottish Government, we’ve highlighted the value of a public audit in helping services learn from their own performance - and that of their neighbours - and the healthy role an audit would play in enabling MSPs, concerned citizens and civic society organisations to hold local services to account. 

Now the audit will be set up, we should begin to see improvements in quality and reduction of fractures amongst Scottish patients as a natural result of transparency, scrutiny and shared learning. 

ROS worked with the Bone Interest Group of Scotland (BIGoS) in April 2022 to make the case for the audit. Since then, we’ve been engaging with the Scottish Government to secure the funding for the audit to be set up. The funding for year one is now in place, with all funding agreements in Scotland subject to an annual review. 

Craig Jones, CEO of the Royal Osteoporosis Society said:

“We thank the Scottish Government. This new audit promises more transparency and accountability in Scotland, which will push standards up and help close the osteoporosis care gap faced by Scots. We’ll be working hard to make sure the first year of the audit clearly demonstrates its impact so that further cycles of funding are made available thereafter.”

Dr Alison Black, Chair of the Bone Interest Group of Scotland said:

“Scotland is the home of Fracture Liaison Services (FLS) with the first FLS initiated in Glasgow in 1999. We are delighted that Scotland will now have a national FLS audit to join with the excellent work that the Scottish Hip Fracture Audit has achieved in improving standards in hip fracture care in Scotland. The Bone Interest Group of Scotland (BIGoS) looks forward to working with the ROS and Scottish Government to implement this audit.”

This successful outcome in Scotland comes hot on the heels of the Ministerial commitment for 100% population coverage of FLS in Wales by October 2024, following discussions with ROS.

Help our specialist nurses continue to support those in need