Fractures: Radiology

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 24th November 2021.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he will take with relevant medical professionals to assess the potential merits of using bone scans to (a) diagnose the risk of (b) adequately treat bone fractures.

Photo of Gillian Keegan Gillian Keegan Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The RightCare Falls and Fragility Fractures Pathway was developed in 2017 in collaboration with professionals from with the National Health Service, Public Health England, the National Osteoporosis Society and others to provide commissioners with resources to prevent falls, detect and manage osteoporosis, and support people after having fragility fractures.

The Pathway recommends screening for people with higher risk of fractures due to old age and known health diseases, specifying bone scans as a screening tool. The scans help to diagnose osteoporosis in bones which indicates a risk of fracture as the bone is weakened. The benefits of using follow up bone scans when treating a known fracture can show if the bones have weakened further. The results help to manage the patient appropriately in the care pathway. NHS England and NHS Improvement are planning to refresh the toolkit in partnership with the BestMSK Pathway Improvement Programme within the next 12 months.

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