HEALTHCARE professionals from across Salisbury have called on John Glen MP to take action to protect his constituents from the pain of preventable fractures.

The Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS) claims fractures caused by the disease are the fourth worst cause of premature death and disability in the UK.

The condition causes bones to weaken and fracture from simple injuries including a cough, a fall from standing height or even a hug from grandchildren.

Fracture Liaison Services (FLS) are absent in half of NHS Trusts including Salisbury District Hospital which had its "high performing" service decommissioned in 2018 due to a lack of funding.

The society said this service is the world standard for early diagnosis of osteoporosis to catch people after their first break before the degenerative condition causes further, more serious, breaks.

Salisbury Journal: The Royal United Hospital in Bath has a fracture liaison service.The Royal United Hospital in Bath has a fracture liaison service. (Image: Newsquest)

Bath has one of the best FLSs in the country at the Royal United Hospital with a UK-leading success rate in identifying 91 per cent of fracture patients.

This hospital is part of the same Integrated Care System as Salisbury, which the ROS says shows the "severity of healthcare inequalities within the same commissioning district".

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ROS's chief executive Craig Jones said: “Hip fractures are heart attack-level events.  The chances of a Bath resident falling victim to one is radically lower than someone with a Salisbury postcode, even though the same decision-makers commission services."

Salisbury Journal: Craig Jones said hip fractures are heart attack-level events.Craig Jones said hip fractures are heart attack-level events. (Image: Royal Osteoporosis Society)The ROS has written a joint letter to John Glen, member of parliament for Salisbury, to help reinstate an FLS in Salisbury to protect residents and save the NHS money.

Consultant Orthogeriatrician Diran Padiachy, at Salisbury Hospital, said: "This is something we really need to do to improve health for our rapidly expanding older population of Salisbury and surrounding areas."

"For years we have known the cost of osteoporosis to the NHS, to Social  Care and to the individual. It needs recognition by those who can influence changes to policy. It is not a difficult thing to do," added Salisbury NHS GP Stuart Eastman.

The society claims reinstating an FLS would prevent 317 fractures over the next five years, including 133 life-endangering hip fractures, which would save the NHS £3.4m and release 3,310 acute bed days.

Salisbury Journal: John Glen is open to talking with the medics.John Glen is open to talking with the medics. (Image: N/A)

John Glen MP said he would be "delighted" to meet local medics who wish to support the campaign, adding: “This is not a topic that has been raised with me by SDH, so I will also be seeking their views on where they see this sitting within their list of specific priorities for Salisbury.”

Mr Jones hopes a plan to boost FLSs across the country will be included in the government's Autumn Statement.

"If they show leadership this decisive, the government can save and change tens of thousands of lives, both in Salisbury and across the rest of England," he added.

A spokesperson for the Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board said: “We know that our ICB has a high proportion of older people, and that providing the right care and support for conditions which are more common in later life, such as osteoporosis and falls in general, is hugely important.

“Establishing consistent provision of fracture liaison services, along with other falls prevention and early intervention initiatives, is important to the ICB, and we are working with our partners across the health and care system to understand what support is currently available, and what more needs to be done.

“The ICB is already in contact with the Royal Osteoporosis Society, and we will continue to work with our partners to ensure that older people who live in our area have the support that’s needed for them to remain healthy, mobile and independent.”