I last visited the osteoporosis centre at the Royal Cornwall Hospital nine years ago when I was Patron of the N.O.S., and I’m delighted to be here again today to see the progress that has been made since then.

I am so pleased to have actually made it to Truro today, and cannot apologise enough for having been forced to postpone this visit twice – but it seems to be the case of third time lucky for the President of the National Osteoporosis Society...

I last visited the osteoporosis centre at the Royal Cornwall Hospital nine years ago when I was Patron of the N.O.S., and I’m delighted to be here again today to see the progress that has been made since then.

On my previous visit, I saw what a wonderful clinical service was provided to patients from across the length and breadth of Cornwall, and I know how much educational work has gone into your “Bone and Joint Awareness” weeks.

It is so important to raise awareness of the joint problems of both osteoporosis and arthritis, to try and help prevent and treat these painful, debilitating and sometimes fatal conditions.

It is also very encouraging that so many young people visited the centre during that week, as it is vital that they learn that regular exercise and a healthy diet are of mega-importance to their bone health in the future.

As some of you may know, I became involved with osteoporosis after my mother and my grandmother both died as a result of the devastating disease.

Then – only 14 years ago – osteoporosis was seldom discussed, rarely diagnosed and usually attributed to old women with so called ‘dowager’s humps’. Huge strides have been made since then, but we still have a long way to go.

It is thanks to the work of centres such as this one – so ably led by Professor Woolf – that the light at the end of the tunnel seems to be getting closer.

I congratulate you all on your huge achievements and wish you every success as you work together to deliver future generations in Cornwall – and worldwide – from suffering the pain and ignominy of osteoporosis.