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Osteoporosis

Volume 458: debated on Wednesday 14 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what provision has been made for the allocation of Government funding towards osteoporosis treatment to remain ring-fenced; (127468)

(2) how much her Department allocated for expenditure on the treatment of osteoporosis in 2005-06; and how much was spent.

The Department does not hold data which link treatment to disease. Because of the number of different diagnostic and treatment episodes a patient with osteoporosis and any concurrent condition may undergo, the Department cannot record spending on an individual illness or condition.

The capital provision of £17 million to improve national health service capacity in dual X-ray absorptiometer (DXA) scanning provision in the diagnosis of osteoporosis has been included in strategic health authorities' (SHA) strategic capital allocation and is not ring-fenced. Whilst the Department does not monitor how SHA strategic capital is spent, it has been clear in its expectations that this funding is spent exclusively on DXA provision. In May 2006, the national director for older people, Professor Ian Philp, wrote to SHAs to highlight the importance of DXA scanning in delivering the relevant elements of the national service framework for older people.