The National Osteoporosis Society and Age UK have established a new Falls and Fractures Alliance in England. By working together, those who sign up to the Alliance are better placed to achieve the common goals of preventing falls and fractures and, specifically, reducing the rate of hospital admissions for hip fractures and for falls-related injuries among older people. These ambitions are Department of Health policy and are set out in its Public Health Outcomes Framework for 2013-16.
Members of the Alliance have all signed the Falls and Fractures Declaration. This is a series of commitments agreed to by all Alliance members with the aim of achieving these goals. You can read the Falls and Fractures Declaration here.
You can find out which organisations are members of the Alliance here. You can also read Alliance members’ own five-year action plans for achieving the aims of the Declaration.
The Alliance is served by an executive board who meet quarterly. See here for minutes from the first and second board meetings.
Why do we need a Falls and Fractures Alliance?
Falls and fractures in older people are a costly and often preventable health concern. If we do not take steps now to improve the prevention and treatment of falls and fractures, the number of people affected by broken bones will rise steeply in just a few years due to demographic changes. The cost of treating and caring for hip fractures in the UK could top £6 billion by 2036.
Falling standards, broken promises: the report of the national audit of falls and bone health in older people 2010 , was published by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) and the Royal College of Physicians in 2011. It has revealed that there is a great deal of variation in the quality of falls and fracture management across England. This prompted the National Osteoporosis Society and Age UK to host a national summit in October 2011 which was attended by the then Care Services Minister, Paul Burstow MP. During the summit, people affected by falls and fractures, health professionals and officials identified the barriers to better services and suggested solutions. These are captured in Age UK and the National Osteoporosis Society’s joint Breaking Through: Building Better Falls and Fracture Services in England report, which was presented to the Minister in February 2012. This sets out individual actions for a number of bodies, including Government, policy makers, health professionals, people affected by falls and fractures and the associated health bodies that have been established through the Health and Social Care Act 2012.
The nature of effective falls and fracture prevention and management is such that it requires many different parts of the NHS, public health and local government to work together. The Government has an important role in ensuring that there are comprehensive falls and fracture services in all areas of England. However, radical and sustainable change will only come about through the action of individuals and organisations working together locally and nationally to challenge what is wrong and to do things better.
What should I do if I would like my organisation to join the Falls and Fractures Alliance?
Any organisation that plays a role in preventing falls and fractures in older people in England is welcome to join the Alliance. This includes:
- Bodies that represent people with or at risk of falls and fractures, those who care for them and their families.
- Bodies that represent health and/or social care professionals (professional societies and associations, for example) who treat and care for people affected by falls and fractures.
- Commissioners of health and social care services (clinical commissioning groups and local authorities, for example).
- Providers of health and social care services.
- Bodies that represent public health professionals.
For more information, please contact Louise Madel by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or telephone (01761 473 253).
Why do the Alliance and Declaration only apply to England?
Our declaration applies in England only - this is because the way in which health and social care services are organised in the devolved countries is a matter for the Northern Ireland Executive and the Scottish and Welsh Governments. Click here to see what the National Osteoporosis Society is doing to improve the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care of osteoporosis and fragility fractures in these countries.