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Osteoporosis injections in West Suffolk to be delivered in community clinics



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Osteoporosis injections in West Suffolk are set to be delivered in community clinics rather than the hospital, under new plans.

Denosumab injections – six-monthly injections delivered to treat osteoporosis or bone loss caused by treatment for other conditions – are currently delivered at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds despite other areas providing the treatment at primary care settings.

In a report published at Suffolk’s health scrutiny committee this month, the trust confirmed it has contracted Suffolk GP Federation to deliver the injections.

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds
West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds

“Since July 2021, we have been using co-production techniques to explore and develop an alternative to hospital-team care,” the report said.

“We have successfully agreed a shared-care approach with the Suffolk GP Federation (SGPF) and intend to subcontract the service to SGPF for a fixed term of one year in the first instance.

“It will continue to be covered under the West Suffolk Foundation Trust licence with the Care Quality Commission as part of our regulated activity.

“We are planning implementation at the moment. Waiting times are growing for some patients so we are hoping to hand some components of the service over promptly in April 2022, while others will be phased to start on July 1 2022.”

Currently, around 537 patients receive denosumab injections, and the trust confirmed that those who are housebound and receive their jabs from a hospital or district nurse in their home will continue to be treated at home.

Exact locations for the clinics are set to be confirmed, but could include Mildenhall Hub, Sudbury Community Health Centre, Drovers House in Bury St Edmunds, Stow Health in Stowmarket or Hartismere Hospital in Eye.

The trust’s report said that a survey indicated that 75 per cent of respondents were either happy or indifferent about receiving their treatment in a community location, while a quarter said it would be bad.

A spokesman from the trust said: “Part of our ‘first for patients’ vision is to build services which are sustainable for the future and deliver care closer to people’s homes and communities.

“By working alongside colleagues from the GP Federation, and moving these services out of our acute hospital environment, this ensures we’re using resources more efficiently whilst being able to provide patients with their injections at a location more convenient to them.

“Collaborative working like this ensures that our acute hospital services are available for those who need it most.”

Patients should receive a letter outlining the changes and what happens next.