A SILSDEN woman supports efforts to end “a postcode lottery” which she says means some people with osteoporosis are missing out on desperately needed treatment.
The Royal Osteoporosis Society is leading the campaign, which comes after an All-Party Parliamentary Group survey found that only around half of NHS trusts in England and Wales have a fracture liaison service.
The service assesses people over the age of 50 who break a bone, to identify any underlying osteoporosis, which may then allow the patient to access medication to prevent further fractures.
Everyone in Scotland and Northern Ireland automatically accesses the service, regardless of where they live.
Christine Sharp, 67, of Silsden, suffered spinal fractures which she says could have been prevented had she had access to a fracture liaison service.
She adds: “I have lived with osteoporosis for 20 years.
“To date, I have suffered 13 spinal fractures and a broken rib in the last year just from bumping into a chair. When winter comes, I am afraid to go out when the ground is icy for fear of falling or I have been known to be completely housebound for up to ten days in these conditions.
“I truly believe that if a fracture I suffered in my spine had been spotted earlier than it was, I would have been spared a lot of pain and suffering. As a result, I suffered no more fractures – which were both devastating Living with these fractures is a nightmare that never goes away.
“The Fracture Liaison Service should be available to anyone over the age of 50 who breaks a bone due to osteoporosis, so that they are treated appropriately to help prevent further fractures. ”
The weakening bone disease affects 3.5 million people in the UK.
Craig Jones, from the Royal Osteoporosis Society, said: “Even before the pandemic, two-thirds of people were not getting the treatment they needed for osteoporosis. This is causing unnecessary pain, disability and loss of life. We must call time the vast inequalities in osteoporosis healthcare faced by tens of thousands of people in England and Wales.
“By ensuring 100% access to fracture liaison services across the UK, we can transform people’s experience later in life and take the huge strain off the shoulders of our NHS.”
As part of its campaign, the company is urging people to sign a petition at theros.org.uk/how-you-can-help/campaign-with-us/campaign-for-100-fls.