§ Dr. Murrison
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to improve services for people with osteoporosis in the South West. 
§ Ms Rosie Winterton
National action to improve services for people with osteoporosis is being taken forward through the work of the orthopaedic services improvement team, part of the National Health Service Modernisation Agency, and implementation of the national service framework (NSF) for older people. The prevention, treatment, care and support of those at risk of osteoporosis are important components in the delivery of the integrated falls services that the NSF requires to be in place locally by April 2005.293W
In the South West, the responsibility for commissioning services for people with osteoporosis rests with individual primary care trusts. Local programmes are being developed as part of the NSF to improve services for older people and prevent falls, which includes action on osteoporosis. For example, in South Devon an initiative called Osteoporosis South Devon was launched in October 2002 and is a new service for primary and secondary care to identify those at higher risk of osteoporosis.
Action is also being taken across the region to prevent the onset of osteoporosis. To this end, a South West regional physical activity group has been set up, which is developing a sport and physical activity plan for the South West.
§ Dr. Ladyman
The anticipated publication date for the guidance from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence on the clinical and cost effectiveness of technologies for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis is June 2004. A clinical guideline is also in preparation on the assessment of fracture risk and the prevention of osteoporotic fractures in individuals at high risk. The anticipated publication date for this guidance is June 2005.
§ Ms Atherton
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the preliminary recommendations of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence on the drug treatment of osteoporosis. 
§ Ms Rosie Winterton
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence's consultation document does not constitute its formal guidance on this technology appraisal: the recommendations are preliminary and may change after the consultation. As a registered stakeholder of the guidance, the Department has responded to the consultation and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.