Breaking bones, breaking barriers to treatment

Victoria Western, Pharmacist Independent Prescriber With kind support from the Royal Osteoporosis Society

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

This Bevan Exemplar project utilised a specialist prescribing pharmacist to initiate bone protection treatment following the identification of osteoporotic vertebral fractures.


Osteoporosis is a condition where your bones lose strength, making you more likely to fracture a bone. These fragility fractures can have a huge impact on a patient, their independence, their family, social care systems and the NHS.

Treating patients who have been diagnosed with an osteoporotic fracture helps to reduce the incidence of future fractures and their associated complications:

Patients diagnosed with osteoporotic vertebral fractures within the Trauma Directorate at Cardiff & Vale University Health Board (CVUHB) do not routinely receive information about their condition, nor are they offered treatment to lower their future fracture risk. This is in contrast to the robust assessments performed for all patients admitted with osteoporotic hip fractures.




Pie chart of treatment outcomes

Next steps

Did you know?

Fragility fractures cost NHS Wales over £108m a year.
Each vertebral fracture accounts for 14 additional GP visits in the year after the fracture. That’s 392,000 GP visits a year.
Over 28,000 osteoporotic fractures are predicted in Wales during 2020, this is predicted to increase to over 35,000 by 2030.

“Bevan Exemplar experience has been the most challenging of my career so far; but worth the effort to progress a valuable service for those who need it most.”

Victoria Western

Part of cohort Bevan Exemplar Projects 2018-19