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National Osteoporosis Society

Osteoporosis helpline

0845 450 0230

9am - 5pm Mon-Fri

Helpline

0845 450 0230 or 01761 472721

Who staffs the helpline?

The service is provided by nurses with specialist knowledge of osteoporosis and bone health. They can provide you with a personal reply backed up by information provided in electronic or printed format.

How do I contact the helpline?

  • You can call 0845 450 0230 / 01761 472721.
  • You can email nurses@nos.org.uk for a private reply. Please allow up to 5 working days to hear back from us.
  • You can ask a question on our Discussion Forum if you are happy for a public response to be provided. Please allow up to 72 hours for a reply.
  • You can write to the nurses at the National Osteoporosis Society, Camerton, Bath, BA2 0PJ.

Can I call the helpline at any time?

Nurses are available to talk between 9am and 5pm on weekdays except between Christmas and New Year and on Bank Holidays. Occasionally the telephone service is closed for training when you will be offered a call back from one of the team.

Do I need a medical problem to contact the helpline?

You don’t need a medical problem to use the service – you are welcome to ask any question you may have relating to osteoporosis or bone health, via letter, email or phone call. The service is supported by a large body of scientific and medical advisers to ensure our information is based on the most accurate, independent and up to date knowledge so that you can make informed choices.

I am feeling very low – can the helpline help me?

Many people with pain, and other problems associated with fractures caused by osteoporosis, get in touch for help and emotional support. Although the nurses are unable to provide counselling or a general befriending service, they often have the skills and information to help. If you are feeling desperate and especially if the telephone helpline is busy you can always contact the Samaritans on 0845 90 90 90, www.samaritans.org or NHS Direct on 111, www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk

Will it cost me to ring the helpline?

There is no charge for the information provided – you only pay the price of the call for the telephone service. 0845 calls provided by BT will be charged 2.1 pence per minute with a call set-up fee of 13.1 pence per call from residential lines (some call packages from BT provide free 0845 calls). Mobile and other providers’ charges may vary. Callers whose telephone network does not enable them to benefit from 0845 numbers can call the Helpline on 01761 472721

What happens if the telephone helpline is busy?

You are given the chance to queue – 90% of calls are answered or if you prefer you can send an email or letter.

Will the nurses give me medical advice?

The nurses will provide up to date evidence based information and discuss your situation if you wish so that you feel better informed. Often they will explain how osteoporosis is currently managed – that is’ best practice’ within the health service - so you know what to expect and the reasons and evidence behind the treatment and care provided. Information is not intended to replace the advice that your own doctor can provide. If you need urgent help then ring 999 for the emergency services.

How long do I have to wait for an email or letter reply?

Emails are answered within 5 working days and letters within 7. An answer will be provided on the Ask the Nurse discussion forum within 48 hours (only open on Tuesdays).

What do people phone the helpline about ?

Over 13000 responses are provided each year on drug treatments; risks for fracture; scans and tests; exercise, healthy eating and other lifestyle changes; managing pain and other problems caused by fragility fractures; other issues relating to osteoporosis and bone health.

Is the helpline confidential?

The nurses use your personal information (such as name and address) for the purposes of dealing with your enquiry. The information is confidential within the team. They will not pass on your details to anyone else. In order to comply with the law or the nurses' professional code of conduct there are rare situations when confidentiality may be broken such as an act relating to terrorism or when the caller is at risk of serious harm from themselves or others. Some demographic information is collected at the end of the call but this is stored anonymously in a way that cannot identify a living person.

Who is helpline used by?

The service is available for the general public, as well as health and social care professionals. Many people want to discuss their own situation or someone close to them.

Do you have to be a member of the charity?

No although many enquirers are members. Membership will keep you up to date with the latest information on osteoporosis – it also provides a way to support the charity and the work we do. We receive no statutory funding for this service and rely completely on the support provided by charity membership and donations.

If I have a comment to make about the service who do I contact?

Any comments or complaints about the service to the Helpline Manager/Senior Osteoporosis Nurse. s.leyland@nos.org.uk

Are calls recorded or monitored?

Some calls may be recorded and monitored for training purposes. This is an important part of maintaining quality on the helpline. All calls are kept confidential to the helpline team and are destroyed securely after use. The service complies with the Data protection Act 1998.

Are there additional services I should know about?

Callers who are hard of hearing can use Typetalk; a translation service is provided for calls via Languageline.

The helpline is a member of The Helplines Partnership


 

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1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will break a bone, mainly due to poor bone health

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