Education And Debate

Department of Health is fair to patients with osteoporosis

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 03 February 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:297
  1. David Barlow, professor of obstetrics and gynaecologya,
  2. Cyrus Cooper, reader in rheumatologyb,
  3. Jonathan Reeve, consultant physicianc,
  4. David Reid, consultant rheumatologistd
  1. a Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headington, Oxford OX3 9DU
  2. b MRC Environmental Epidemiology Unit, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton SO16 6YD
  3. c University Department of Medicine, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge CB2 2QQ
  4. d Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Foresterhill, Aberdeen AB9 2ZB
  1. Correspondence and reprint requests to: Dr Cooper.

    The Advisory Group on Osteoporosis1 was not established to advise ministers on health technology; machinery for that purpose is in place and a separate group has been set up to review this rapidly advancing topic. The remit given to the advisory group was to summarise current knowledge about osteoporosis, to detail ongoing research into the subject, and to identify research priorities. The final version was submitted to wide ranging consultation, including review by several representatives of purchasers and providers of health care, by the Standing Medical Advisory Committee of the Department of Health, and by the NHS Management Executive.

    The recommendations of the report were: (a) better coordination of services in osteoporosis management, (b) greater availability of bone densitometry facilities for defined clinical indications, (c) provision of these facilities at the discretion of purchasers at a local level, and (d) the development of guidelines for osteoporosis management through the royal colleges. Of the 86 pages covering this diverse and often complex agenda, Professor Sheldon and colleagues have taken exception to the conclusions articulated in the seven which refer to a clinical bone density service. We infer that they are in broad agreement with …

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