Health written question – answered on 28th October 2008.

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Photo of Tom Levitt Tom Levitt Labour, High Peak

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to improve the performance of healthcare professionals in the early diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis.

Photo of Phil Hope Phil Hope Minister of State (Care Services; Minister for the East Midlands), Department of Health

A directed enhanced service (DES) for osteoporosis has been agreed for 2008-09 and 2009-10, which will encourage general practices to diagnose and prescribe appropriate secondary prevention for patients with osteoporosis. This will help improve patient care by ensuring that specific patient groups are managed appropriately and in accordance with existing guidance published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

Additionally, as part of the prevention package for older people, we intend to establish an expert group, who will develop a commissioning framework, which will help the national health service better provide services for falls, fractures and osteoporosis. The Department has started the process of engagement with key stakeholders from the NHS, social care and the third and private sector to develop the detail of the package, which it expects to publish by March 2009.

The Department will also continue to review the evidence and opportunity for improved services in this area.

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