Osteoporosis Service

The North Bristol NHS Trust Osteoporosis Service at Southmead Hospital Bristol provides a bone densitometry DXA scanning service for patients who have had a fragility fracture or are at risk of osteoporosis for other reasons.

We perform DXA scans using a Hologic Discovery bone densitometer, which uses a very low dose of X-ray in order to quickly and accurately work out your bone density. A DXA report, including recommendations for treatment, will then be sent to doctor.

According to the result, this may also include an assessment of your risk of breaking a bone over the next ten years, using the FRAX tool, which can be helpful in deciding about whether you need treatment. For more information about the FRAX tool, visit www.shef.ac.uk/FRAX

Your GP can refer you for a DXA:

  • If you are a postmenopausal woman over 50 with a low trauma fracture (defined as a limb fracture after a fall from standing height or less while stationary or walking, or a vertebral fracture of the spine)
  • Or, if you are a woman or man over 50 with a FRAX score in the intermediate or high risk zone

To make a referral, your GP needs to complete a NBT DXA request form.

In other circumstances, your GP may want to contact us first to establish eligibility (if you are ineligible for a scan under the NHS, we also offer this service self-funded at a cost of £72).

Alternatively, it may be that you are referred for a DXA scan by a hospital consultant looking after you for a condition such as breast cancer or celiac disease.

The director of this service is Professor Jon Tobias, who is also head of a University of Bristol academic group researching osteoporosis, for more information, visit www.bristol.ac.uk/clinicalsciencenorth/rheumatology

Dr Emma Clark leads on the vertebral fracture assessment. Dr Karen Harding, Dr Seema Srivastava and Dr Katherine Walsh provide the orthogeriatric service.

Contact Osteoporosis

DXA Service
Gate 6, Level 2
Brunel Building
Southmead Hospital
BS10 5NB

Telephone: 0117 4147874
Email: dxaservice@nbt.nhs.uk

Osteoporosis Service