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Demand on the Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS) line has surged by 28 per cent from 12,000 to 16,000. The spike was caused by the closure and delays to NHS services – which were already under-resourced – and now “millions of people have fallen through the cracks”, say the ROS.
The charity is warning that an increase in cases of the condition will lead to a huge number of hip and bone fractures that may prove “overwhelming for the NHS later on”.
The pandemic means older people have been getting much less exercise and sunlight, leading to bone damage. Lack of monitoring by medics means millions will also have not been diagnosed.
ROS chief executive Craig Jones said: “People are calling us mainly about issues with medications, as they are not getting the follow-up and monitoring from the NHS.”
He highlighted a shortage of fracture liaison services (FLS) which identify those aged 50 and over who have had a fragility fracture, saying: “FLS was created here in the UK, in Glasgow.
“It’s really effective and has been copied in other countries and they are now way out ahead, while only half of the trusts in this country offer one – it’s a bitter irony.”
Appealing to the Government, he said: “Hip fractures take up one million acute bed days every year.What we’re saying is look, take a small slice of that, invest it in prevention early on you get £3 back for every pound you put in, because if you don’t get on top of this it is going to be overwhelming for the NHS later on.”
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