National evaluation reveals patchy care for osteoporosis and falls

Practices have been urged to help improve care of osteoporosis patients and women at risk of falls.

The first national evaluation of standards of care for older people at risk of falls and osteoporotic fractures has been published by The Information Centre for health and social care.

According to the research, three quarters of older women with diagnosed osteoporosis and a previous fragility facture received appropriate drugs from their practice.

But the research also showed that only 10 per cent older women with a previous fragility fracture had a referral for bone density assessment recorded in their electronic medical records. For men, the figure was 2 per cent.

Fewer than 2 per cent of older people recorded as having a high risk of falling had a recorded referral to a falls service or exercise programme.

The research was carried out using the QRESEARCH database, which consists of anonymous electronic medical records from patients in 525 UK general practices. The report says that the low levels of achievement in assessments and referral could be the result of practices failing to input relevant information on the electronic medical record.

The Information Centre, a special health authority, called for osteoporosis and falls prevention to be included in the Quality and Outcomes Framework.

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