Fracture risk scheme could save £50,000 per practice

A project to prevent hip fractures by scanning GP practice lists to identify and treat high-risk patients aims to cut hospital costs by more than £50,000 per practice.

Practice lists: GPs can scan lists to identify patients at risk of fractures
Practice lists: GPs can scan lists to identify patients at risk of fractures

Clinicians in Newcastle upon Tyne are in talks with local CCGs to roll the project out across the city, after a successful pilot in three GP practices.

The project, Preventing Fractures in Newcastle, uses a computer program to scan patient records for risk factors linked to fragility fractures.

These include age, sex, smoking and neglected factors such as personal and family history of fragility fracture. Patients are then referred to primary care teams to start treatment to lower the risk.

Dr Terry Aspray, a consultant in metabolic bone disease at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said preventing two hip fractures per practice could save more than £50,000 per practice per year, or £1.8m across the whole city.

He told GP magazine: 'We piloted the process in three practices, but we're working across the whole city, across two commissioning groups, to develop a pathway that is robust for the future.'

Dr Aspray said that the average practice might have 200 at-risk patients who could benefit from fracture risk checks.

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