Steve Brine MP

for Winchester & Chandler's Ford

27 NOV 2014

Steve Brine discusses devastating impact of osteoporosis

Winchester MP Steve Brine joined patients, health practitioners and broadcaster Sue MacGregor last week to hear key findings from the National Osteoporosis Society's new report on the devastating impact osteoporosis has on people's lives.

Steve said: "Events such as this present MPs with genuine opportunities to learn something new about an issue which undoubtedly affects a number of our constituents. I was very interested to learn a little about osteoporosis and to discuss the connection for breast cancer patients given my work in that area.

"It was also nice to meet up with Dr Louise Dolan, Trustee of the National Osteoporosis Society and Consultant Rheumatologist who grew up in Winchester. It was her Mum, who still lives in the city, who alerted me to the event and inspired me to attend."

Dr Louise Dolan talked about the work of the Charity in tackling awareness of osteoporosis. She said: "The National Osteoporosis Society works hard to raise the public profile of the condition, to provide comprehensive patient information and also support health professionals in providing care for people with osteoporosis and fragility fractures.

"Our report on the Life with Osteoporosis study clearly urges everyone to break the silence and talk about the condition, support the Charity and talk to us through our Helpline or otherwise if you are concerned about risk of osteoporosis."

Sue MacGregor, known from the Today Programme, Woman's Hour and The Reunion, introduced Life with Osteoporosis, a new report from the National Osteoporosis Society which gives a voice to people struggling day-to-day with the "silent" condition.@ In particular she focused on the impact of osteoporosis on people's lives, the lack of awareness of the condition and the experiences of patient care which were reported back through the Life with Osteoporosis study.

Patient champions Christine Sharp, Honor McMillan and Nic Vine joined Sue in an open discussion of their experiences of osteoporosis:

Christine said: "I was delighted to be in Parliament, raising awareness of osteoporosis and the devastating impact it has on lives. Through osteoporosis I have lost 4 inches in height, I am in constant pain and I struggle to do normal everyday things.@Prior to this I was running my own business as a hairdresser, walking more than 30 miles a week, helping with youth group and always on the go. Life will never be the same again for me or my husband."

Sue MacGregor said: "It's clear from these discussions and the Life with Osteoporosis study that experience of patient care differs enormously across the country. Increasing public awareness must go hand in hand with building better understanding of the condition among health professionals and in turn greater provision of osteoporosis and fragility fracture services such as Fracture Liaison Services across the country. It's heartening to hear of the work of the National Osteoporosis Society and we must support them in their endeavours."

Hosting the event in Parliament were the Co-Chairs of the All-Party Parliamentary Osteoporosis Group (APPOG), Baroness Cumberlege and Gordon Marsden MP who said: "We are delighted to have gathered in Westminster at APPOG parliamentarians, patient champions, Charity representatives and the ever articulate Sue MacGregor.

"APPOG continues to support the National Osteoporosis Society in its campaign to see a Fracture Liaison Service linked to every hospital in the UK and we urge our colleagues in Parliament to take the lead on this in their local areas. However, it has been important to hear directly of the daily grind and impact of the condition and remind ourselves why we need to campaign so vigorously for better osteoporosis services across the country."

The focus at the APPOG reception was on the impact of the condition on people's lives, the lack of awareness that exists and the differing patient care that people with osteoporosis receive.

The Charity is urging Parliamentarians to speak to their local Health and Wellbeing Boards and Clinical Commissioning Groups about provision of osteoporosis and fragility fracture services and in particular campaign with us for a Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) to be linked to every hospital in the UK.

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