Primary care organisations 'misleading public' on osteoporosis
By Nigel Praities
Primary care organisations have been accused of misleading the public over osteoporosis care, after a national audit found serious gaps in their management of the disease.
The Royal College of Physicians audit found only 39% of commissioning trusts complied with recommendations from NICE on the secondary prevention of osteoporotic fragility fractures.
This contrasted with the results of a 2007/8 Healthcare Commission survey of NHS Trusts where the great majority of PCOs in England reported they were compliant.
‘This public reassurance about fracture prevention services turns out to be misleading, since only 24% of PCOs have audited local bone health prescribing and only nine know their local fragility fracture rates,' concludes the report.
Risk assessments in emergency departments and fracture services were inadequate, with only 44% of trusts routinely screening older patients admitted to hospital with a fracture for osteoporosis.
The annual assessment of audit was commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership, with results from 202 acute and mental health trusts, seven combined health andocial care trusts, 150 PCOs and 73 care homes.
Dr Jonathan Treml, associate director of the National Falls and Bone Health Audit Programme, said: ‘This audit demonstrates that the services provided for older people at risk of falls and fractures fall short of the services that the evidence supports, that national guidelines dictate, and that older people deserve.'
The results follow a similar audit in 2007 that showed only 28% of fragility fracture patients had been started on medications for bone protection.