Healthy Bones

Photo 1Healthy Bones provides bone densitometry (DXA) measurements and vertebral fracture assessments using our 2 latest-technology scanners, one of which is a mobile unit and operates from various sites around Devon and Cornwall.


We see over 3,500 patients per year, the scan results inform diagnosis and monitoring of osteoporosis. Additionally the team provides specialist training and support for referrers and practice nurses locally, and contributes to national training and quality agenda for DXA and osteoporosis services.


The service is led by Consultant Radiographer who leads a team of Specialist Radiographers and dedicated Admin support who work efficiently as a team to provide the service to patients who are in need of the Healthy Bones pathway.


Recently Jennifer Knell has taken the lead clinically and is training to become a Healthy Bones Consultant Practitioner. The department has close links with the Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS) to ensure that all processes and information are incorporating the latest national guidance in osteoporosis and DXA scanning. Team members also support the ROS National Training Scheme for Bone Densitometry through lecturing on the course and examining candidate’s competence.


Healthy Bones has been a leader in innovation and has won national awards and recognition from the ROS such as with recent Covid-19 service redesign, introducing a triage system and telephone assessments which was rolled out as a national model. DXA centres across the UK have since used this model as guidance to re-opening their service to patients.


In 2021 we have taken the opportunity to share with local MP’s to share our initiative and successes to help patients during the pandemic and how we allowed patients who are most at risk of osteoporosis access to treatment whilst the service was reduced.


The DXA mobile service won the Patient Experience Network Awards in 2017 in the category bringing patient experience closer to home.

Healthy bones van   Winner graphic

The team has also been key to securing funding for a new Fracture Prevention Service along with our colleagues in Rheumatology and we await further developments.


Developments in Healthy Bones include further collaborative working with the ROS in clinical research, audit, service improvement and contributing to national standards for DXA scanning and reporting.

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