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Fractures programme could save NHS £35m in the North of England

Posted: - 14th November 2019

X-ray of both handsWe have recruited GPs from our region to take part in an innovative programme that could save the NHS £35 million across the North of England by reducing the risk of older people breaking bones.

GPs taking part in the programme will be asked to identify patients at high risk of breaking bones, evaluate medications and treat those patients, where appropriate, with a bone-sparing agent to improve bone density.

Falls and fractures are a common and serious health issue faced by older people in the UK. Every year, there are around 255,000 falls-related emergency hospital admissions in England among patients aged 65 and older.

Falls are estimated to cost the NHS more than £2.3bn a year and the annual total cost of fragility fractures to the UK has been estimated at £4.4bn.

Current national guidance provides evidence that effective case finding and use of appropriate drug therapies reduces the risk of future clinical fractures by up to 50%.

The bone health project has been developed and tested by the AHSN North East and North Cumbria and the Innovation Agency (AHSN for the North West Coast). Now all four AHSNs across the North including Yorkshire & Humber are implementing the project.

The Northern AHSNs will be working in partnership with the biopharmaceutical company AMGEN, The Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA) and Interface Clinical Services to deliver the approach to targeting fracture risk assessment and bone-sparing medication review at a primary care level.

The project is scheduled to run for one year and designed as a ‘proof of concept’ to provide the evidence for a future-proof sustainable model of fracture reduction.

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