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Health: Bone Scanning

Volume 689: debated on Tuesday 30 January 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is their policy on the availability of dual energy X-ray absorptiometry bone density scanning facilities within the National Health Service to women over 60. [HL1522]

Bone health, including the development of strategies to prevent osteoporotic fractures, is a key priority of the National Service Framework (NSF) for Older People. The NSF recommends that where individuals are identified as being at high risk of developing osteoporosis, investigations such as dual energy x-ray absorptiometer (DXA) scans should be carried out.

Arrangements for the delivery of the standards of care outlined in the NSF are a matter for local determination. However, the Government are taking steps to increase NHS capacity in DXA scanning to improve access and reduce waiting times. In 2005-06, £3 million was allocated from a centrally held revenue budget for purchasing additional scans from the independent sector. Capital provision of £17 million has been made available in 2006-07 and 2007-08 for investment in new DXA scanning equipment.