I issued the following press release on 21.11.2005
LOCAL MP CAMPAIGNS FOR
Local MP Lynne
Jones joined her female Labour colleagues this week in calling on Health Secretary
Patricia Hewitt MP, the BMA and NHS Employers, to give a higher priority to fighting
osteoporosis, a disease that affects about 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50.
said: Hundreds of people in my constituency suffer from osteoporosis and I am
pleased to join my fellow female MPs calling for action against this disease. 8 out of 9
people with osteoporosis are women.
Government, BMA and NHS Employers are currently reviewing the way GPs are incentivised to
treat diseases, and osteoporosis is one area which is being considered for a greater
focus. The record cold winter predicted this year is likely to lead to many elderly people
suffering osteoporotic fractures from falls and slips. It is an alarming statistic that
20% of people who suffer a fracture because of osteoporosis will die within one
than 2 million bed days are used in the NHS treating people with osteoporosis-related
fractures each year, but many could be prevented if the Government agrees to put greater
emphasis on encouraging GPs to identify and treat those people who are most at risk of
osteoporosis before a fracture happens.
We are arguing for simple, low-cost
indicators of the disease to be included in the Governments Quality Outcome
Framework review, so that doctors can intervene early enough to prevent older people
suffering avoidable multiple fractures, and reduce the burden of osteoporosis on the
letter to Patricia Hewitt, Dr Adrian Jacobs of the NHS Employers negotiating team, and Dr
Laurence Buckman of the BMA negotiating team, osteoporosis experts Dr Jonathan Bayly and
Penny Bainbridge make the case for better local services for the disease, to prevent the
avoidable suffering of so many older people, and reduce the huge burden on the NHS. The
negotiators have an opportunity to act now, improving the lives of thousands of women
nationwide and preventing many deaths
NOTES TO EDITORS
Q: What is the personal cost of osteoporosis?
o Half of
people suffering an osteoporotic hip fracture can no longer live independently.
o In a
survey of older people, 80% said they would rather die than experience the reduced quality
of life that follows a serious hip fracture.
o 40% of
patients sustaining a clinical vertebral fracture will have constant pain and the majority
have difficulties with normal activities of daily living, e.g. dressing.
Q: What impact does it have on the health service?
year fractures in patients aged 60 or older account for more than 2 million hospital bed
days in England alone, more than cardiac ischemia, diabetes or heart failure.
fracture patients occupy one in five orthopaedic beds.
Q: Is osteoporosis becoming more common?
The number of osteoporotic fractures is set
to increase dramatically due to an ageing population and todays lifestyles.
intervention for osteoporosis difficult?
practice is well-suited to prevent osteoporotic fractures through systematic intervention,
but this potential is not being met.
high risk osteoporotic patients ultimately decreases GP workload by reducing the excess
number of consultations (as many as 14 in a year) that can follow the occurrence of a
Q: Why should osteoporosis be included as
soon as possible in the Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF)?
is effective, affordable, straightforward and well suited to being delivered in the
primary care setting.
in the revised QOF will support the achievement of the Governments policy objectives
across the UK and the All-Party Parliamentary Osteoporosis Group (APPOG) supports this
Q: What is the GMS contract
and Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF)?
o The General Medical Services contract governs the provision of
primary care services in the UK and is commonly known as the GMS
o Under the contract, primary care service provision is
measured against a Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF). There is a national framework;
alternatively Primary Care Trusts can adopt local policies provided they fall within set
criteria. Primary Care providers services are measured in points, up to a maximum of
1,050. Each point is worth between £77 and £124 in terms of income for individual
Q: What is the timeframe for
the Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF)
o The GMS contract, together with the QOF, is in the course
of being reviewed and renegotiated. It was envisaged from the outset that the QOF would
have to be reviewed and updated in the light of changes to evidence base, advances in
healthcare, changes in legislation or regulation and the need for further clarity, or to
include new, evidence-based areas.
o The negotiating parties: NHS Employers, British Medical
Association and the four Departments of Health are nearing the end of their discussions. The remit of the parties is to consider all
aspects of the QOF, including whether existing indicators should be amended and whether
new indicators should be included. A revised
contract will take effect from April 2006.
Q: Where can I get further
o Information is available from the National Osteoporosis
or from Dr Jonathan Bayly (lead author for the QOF submission) or Penny Bainbridge, senior
lecturer in osteoporosis at Derby University, both of whom work with the NOS and in this disease
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