Scotland becomes the second country in the world to provide 100% coverage of vital health screenings service

Posted On: 
15th October 2019

Scotland has left England and Wales lagging behind as it has become the second country in the world to provide 100% coverage of vital health screenings service. This saves patients from pain and suffering and the NHS cash, writes the Royal Osteoporosis Society. 

The service, supported and encouraged by the Royal Osteoporosis Society, is known as a fracture liaison service. And the charity predicts the blanket coverage in Scotland will prevent 4,589 broken bones including 1,925 hip fractures and save £37.5 m for local health and social care economy over five years.

According to the Royal Osteoporosis Society, in Scotland there are more than 270,000 people with bones broken in the spine (vertebral fractures) due to osteoporosis of which more than 178,000 are currently undiagnosed. And more than 44,000 bones broken annually due to the disease which is often thought as ‘just one of those things’ than happens.

The last health boards in Scotland to recruit staff to operate a fracture liaison service are NHS Fife and NHS Western Isles who have both been supported by the Royal Osteoporosis Society to reach this milestone. The fracture liaison service originated in Scotland with the world’s first FLS opening in Glasgow nearly 20 years ago.

Mayrine Fraser, Royal Osteoporosis Society lead for Scotland, says: “Most people know someone with osteoporosis without even realising it. If one of your parents or grandparents lost height as they got older that could be osteoporosis. It’s not acceptable that broken bones or losing height as you get older is seen as ‘one of those things’, that’s why fracture liaison services are vital to identify people who may have this sometimes crippling disease and sets them on a course to diagnosis and treatment. Congratulations to NHS Scotland for leading the way in the UK. It’s time for other parts of the UK to follow Scotland’s example, particularly NHS England which is lagging behind and doesn’t prioritise this important service."