Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust in the UK has announced the launch of the new Fracture Liaison Service (FLS), designed to prevent fractures and improve the overall bone health of patients in the region.  

The service, which will benefit mid and south Essex residents, is designed to strengthen the bones of individuals over 50, reduce fracture risks, and alleviate hospital bed occupancy.  

It is a collaborative effort between hospitals and general practitioners across the region. 

The FLS identifies residents who have suffered fractures and offers them osteoporosis (fragile bones) screenings by nurses in hospital settings.  

Following the checks, patients may receive bone-strengthening medication or be referred to additional services such as physiotherapy to help prevent future falls. 

Patients are then treated with bone medication or referred to services such as physiotherapy to reduce their risk of falling again. 

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According to the Trust, in mid and south Essex alone, there are approximately 70,000 residents over the age of 50 years living with osteoporosis, contributing between 8,000 and 10,000 fractures annually.  

Nationally, the condition affects an estimated 3.5 million people. 

The Mid and South Essex Integrated Care System first announced the initiative in September last year.  

With the support of the Royal Osteoporosis Society, the FLS is expected to prevent hundreds of fractures. 

This service is designed to enhance the quality of life for local residents by ensuring that those at risk of osteoporosis receive thorough assessments and personalised care plans.  

It also focuses on providing ongoing support and education about fracture prevention and self-management strategies. 

A local resident, Angela Porter from Southend, who was diagnosed with osteoporosis in 2022, has already experienced the benefits of the service.  

Mid and South Essex NHS Trust consultant rheumatologist Dr Way Main Wong said: “This is only the beginning for this first-of-its-kind service, it has the potential to transform bone health for our residents.  

“By treating patients who have had fracture for osteoporosis, we’re aiming to reduce the number of people admitted to hospital with another fracture by over 20%, which will free up hospital beds for others.”