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2012 National Retired Members Conference
19 June 2012

Osteoporosis (literally meaning porous bones) occurs when the trabecular structure of bones becomes thin causing them to become fragile and break more easily. By far the most likely people to suffer from osteoporosis are older people, and particularly older women.

At the end of last year, after many years of campaigning by the National Osteoporosis Society (NOS), osteoporosis was finally recognised as one of the indicators for the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) – the mechanism which provides financial incentives to GPs. From April this year, GP practices will be able to gain extra money through the QOF for assessing and treating patients with osteoporosis. This welcome move could help to prevent unnecessary fractures, avoidable disability and early death as well as saving the NHS millions of pounds in treatment costs. The QOF is a UK-Wide initiative but will only be as effective as the number of practices that try to achieve the funding attached to them. The National Osteoporosis Society has created a template letter for sending to GPs encouraging them to take part in the initiative and drawing attention to the online resources it has created in conjunction with the Royal College of General Practitioners to help GPs care for people with fragile bones.

This UNISON Retired Members’ Conference is concerned to ensure that as many GPs as possible take part in achieving the osteoporosis QOF targets and instructs the National Retired Members’ Committee to publicise and encourage the use of the NOS template letter.