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Silver Award For WellSouth Fracture Liaison Service

The WellSouth Primary Health Network’s Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) has won a silver for best practice in the International Osteoporosis Foundations ‘Capture the Fracture’ programme, fitting as it’s April Falls month, an international annual campaign to raise awareness about the impact of falls.

WellSouth, the primary health organisation (PHO) for Otago and Southland, delivers the ACC-funded service. The PHO has a designated Clinical Lead, Dr Richard Macharg, based in Queenstown, as well as trained Fracture Liaison Co-ordinators.

Dr Macharg says this is a significant milestone for the service that is only in its third full year of delivery, and only its second year participating in the Australian and New Zealand Fragility Fracture Registry.

“Having our service evaluated against international standards and achieving silver status has been very rewarding,” he says.

“Our team work incredibly hard to ensure they deliver the best service and make a difference in the community.”

The International Osteoporosis Foundation’s assessment is based on five administrative and clinical quality domains against 13 performance standards. WellSouth was in the category part of a larger hospital network or system, covering a population of 326,000 with 771 fractures evaluated.

Worldwide, one in three women and one in five men aged 50 years and over will suffer an osteoporotic fracture. These types of fractures, even those that seem small, can be life-threatening, a major cause of pain and long-term disability without support.

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Clients may be referred to them via primary care, ACC claims and secondary care – hospitals including ED.

WellSouth is also the Lead Agency for the Live Stronger for Longer Programme in Southland and Otago, coordinating and growing access to community group strength and balance classes in the region.

Dr Macharg says the team have been focussed on continuous improvement, with their sights set on a gold in 2025.

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