Making patient information accessible and bagging a highly-commended award

Published: 14 Aug 2019

The Falls and Fragility Fracture Audit Programme was highly commended in last year’s Richard Driscoll Memorial Award. Their award entry showed how they worked with patients to make information accessible and dynamic. In this blog post, project manager Bonnie Wiles explains more about their approach and what the award means to them.

The Strong Bones After 50: fracture liaison services explained animation was a new venture for our team.

There are an estimated half a million broken bones after a fall or “fragility fracture” in the UK each year. This is more than the number of heart attacks. The impact can be devastating, leading to increased risk of death, pain and loss of independence, mobility and capacity to carry out everyday tasks. Up to a quarter of these could be prevented with earlier diagnosis and treatment.

Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break. However, the link is not being made between fractures in the over 50s and undetected osteoporosis. A fifth of women who have broken a bone, break three or more before being diagnosed.

Initially, we had the idea of a leaflet, similar to those the team had previously produced in layout. However, with over half a million fragility fractures estimated to occur each year, the focus group quickly identified it would become an expensive resource for the audit or to print locally. This is where the innovative idea of an animation that could be displayed in waiting areas came from.

The animation was conceptualised and co-developed with a patient focus group and this is the final product:

Being highly commended in the Richard Driscoll Memorial Award was not only a motivation for the team, and our patient focus group, but we hope also a source of encouragement for other teams to work closely with patients in developing patient resources.
We hope that by giving patients information about bone health and fracture prevention, they will know what standards of care to expect and have the confidence to approach their doctor and ask for further investigations following a fracture.

The Falls and Fragility Fracture Audit Programme (FFFAP) is commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP). You can find the award winning animation and leaflet here.

Bonnie Wiles
Project Manager, Falls and Fragility Fracture Audit Programme