Read ARMA’s Manifesto
for the 2015 General Election

Explore our interactive 6-point plan

As the UK population ages and the number of people living with multiple long-term conditions grow, the burden of MSK conditions is set to increase. The last six years alone have seen an increase of nearly 300% in hip and knee replacements, for instance. Yet MSK conditions remain chronically under-prioritised in the NHS.

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Musculoskeletal and Arthritis News

NHS England's scorecard Denies Access to Treatment for Ultra Rare Diseases

This campaign comes from the Society for Mucopolysaccharide Diseases, a voluntary support group and advocacy charity which represents children and adults in the UK suffering from Mucopolysaccharide and Related Lysosomal Storage Diseases. Mucopolysaccharidosis is an enzyme disorder which affects a child's ability to build bone, cartilage, tendons, corneas, skin and connective tissue. The MPS Society is encouraging people to sign a petition to government about funding for rare conditions. The campaign aims to reinstate the Highly Specialised Services and ultra orphan drug appraisal process for children and adults with ultra-rare diseases that NHS England dismantled on 1 April 2013. Read more about the ...

Guest Blog - Back pain and the hidden opportunity of public health

by Dr Adam Al-Kashi, Head of Research & Education, BackCare In his 1985 paper – Sick Individuals and Sick Populations (1) – epidemiologist, Professor Geoffrey Rose rendered a crucial insight, “The more widespread a particular cause, the less it explains the distribution of cases. The hardest cause to identify is the one that is universally present”. Despite decades of evidence, policy and best intention, a musculoskeletal health crisis has emerged and escalated to the point of now warranting its very own world summit. Earlier this month, we witnessed the inaugural MSK World Summit and the unveiling of a public health agenda ...

New Resource from the College of Occupational Therapists

We've just added to ARMA's new Working with Arthritis & MSK Resouces page. The Working for Health - Occupational therapy and how it can benefit your organisation document describes how Occupation is fundamental to the occupational therapy profession. Occupational therapists not only work for health and social care services across the UK, they also work within occupational health teams, Access to Work and Pathways to Work schemes, as independent practitioners, and in voluntary and private sector organisations. Therefore it is not unreasonable to see occupational therapists working across all sectors delivering vocational rehabilitation to help people maximise their employment opportunities. Click here to ...

Evidence into Action & Workplace Wellbeing Charter

In parallel with the NHS’s Forward View document, Public Health England (PHE) has published its own list of health priorities: From Evidence into Action: Opportunities to Protect and Improve the Nation’s Health, setting out the PHE’s seven key priorities where it believes it can make a significant difference over the coming five to ten years. The seven priorities are: Tackling obesity Reducing smoking Reducing harmful drinking Ensuring every child has the best start in life Reducing dementia risk Tackling antimicrobial resistance Reducing tuberculosis The full From Evidence into Action paper can be accessed here. It acknowledges that the health system cannot maintain the status quo and that a sustainable health service is one that helps ...

The NHS Five Year Forward View

The NHS Five Year Forward View, published last week, is an all-encompassing document that examines all areas of the health system. It makes several observations and recommendations specifically regarding employment and workplace health, beginning with the observation that - “Sickness absence-related costs to employers and taxpayers have been estimated at £22bn a year, with over 300,000 people each year taking up health-related benefits” Importantly, the document notes that the changes needed to be implemented by the NHS to achieve its long-term sustainability will require actions taken in partnership with external stakeholders, including employers. In this spirit, the NHS pledges to help develop ...

General Election Calls to Action

There have been a number of significant advances in public policy that affects RA, including the introduction of a National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Quality Standard for RA and a Best Practice Tariff for Early Inflammatory Arthritis. However, there is still a long way to go before we achieve high quality services for everyone with RA. In the run up to the General Election, and beyond, we want to strike up a conversation with policymakers, our Members and the wider public about opportunities that exist to further improve RA services. We have published a manifesto, “General Election 2015: ...

Join the Remission Mission!

NRAS have created the Remission Mission photo wall to allow you to share what remission means to you, and raise awareness of the need for improved management of rheumatoid arthritis. Anyone with RA, their family members, friends, and health care professionals are welcome to take part, so please join in today and tell us what remission means to you! Please visit the expandable, interactive Remission Mission wall to read the messages or share your own.

Finance and Office Administrator Job Vacancy

Finance and Office Administrator Part time (16.5 hrs. per week) Maternity Cover Salary £26,000 - £34,000 The Scleroderma Society Would you like to play an essential role in a small charity that aims to ensure that children and adults with scleroderma are able to live full and rewarding lives? The role of Finance and Office Administrator is to provide overall management of the society’s office and administration, and to ensure that the society’s day-to-day business runs efficiently and effectively. Duties include, general office administration, financial management and reporting, administering the charities membership scheme, and contributing into the development of budget and strategic plans. Closing date: Wednesday 19th ...

BSR Autumn Conference - book your place

Taking place 27-28 November in Brighton, the Autumn Conference is a central meeting point for rheumatology consultants and trainees. The two-day event offers excellent networking opportunities and the perfect platform to share best practice, hear from expert speakers, and discover the latest innovations. Last year’s event sold out so we’d urge you to book your place before it’s too late. Find out more and reserve your seat at the conference booking page.

Founder of the RSA Charity Sadly Dies

The RSA is very sad to share the news that Anne Mawdsley MBE died in North Staffordshire Hospital on Sunday 12th October, age 72. A leading light in raising funds for Raynaud’s and scleroderma research, it is important to celebrate Anne’s remarkable life and achievements and her family have planned a ‘Celebration Service’ which will take place on Friday 21st November at 11am at St Mary’s Church in her home village of Alsager, Cheshire, ST7 2EW. Anne was 33 when she first developed symptoms of Raynaud’s. Initially her being out outside in cold weather would precipitate an attack. Eventually, as the symptoms ...

Life with Osteoporosis: the untold story

National Osteoporosis Society Conference 2014 The Osteoporosis Conference will run from 30th Nov – 2nd Dec 2014 at the Birmingham ICC. With expertise gained over 25 years, the Conference has evolved to offer a high-quality and diverse scientific programme of interest to clinicians, health professionals and basic scientists in the area of bone health. For more information visit “Life with Osteoporosis: the untold story” – Report Launched In June of this year the National Osteoporosis Society began “Life with Osteoporosis” – a landmark study to find out more about the impact of osteoporosis and fragility fractures on people’s lives. The report has now been launched ...

Commissioning guidance documents

As many of you will be aware the British Orthopaedic Association has developed commissioning guidance documents aimed at helping those involved in the commissioning of services. They cover a range of treatment areas that include painful deformed great toe in adults, painful tingling fingers, pain arising from the hip in adults, painful osteoarthritis of the knee, low back pain and subacromial shoulder pain. Each guide has been put together by a dedicated multidisciplinary guidance development group, with representatives from Specialist Societies, primary care, physicians, commissioners, patient groups, therapists and clinicians involved in the delivery of care for the particular pathway. In ...


Back Pain Video The British Acupuncture Council has produced this fun video promoting back care tips acupuncture for Back Pain Awareness Week. Go to or click the image to see the quirky YouTube video.   Acupuncture Research Resource Centre Symposium – Save the date The ARRC symposium will take place on Saturday 21st March 2015 at King’s College London. We are currently finalising our line-up of speakers and it is looking very exciting… If you have a poster that you are interested in presenting or would like some further information, please contact our research manager, Mark Bovey TV programme on acupuncture for pain Dr Hugh McPherson ...

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ARMA is the umbrella body providing a collective voice for the arthritis and musculoskeletal community in the UK.

Together, ARMA and its member organisations work to improve quality of life for all those living with musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders in the UK.

We aim to foster co-operation between charities and professional organisations, working to enhance understanding and mutual support between individuals and organisational bodies.

ARMA’s Standards of Care

Arthritis and related musculoskeletal conditions affect one in 5 people in the UK, causing pain and disability.

They can strike at any age, from infancy onwards. They cost society billions each year in health and social costs, lost employment, benefits; and they cost many individuals their independence and quality of life. There are many myths about these conditions, but the most damaging of all is the myth that nothing can be done.

Something can always be done, be it providing details of a local support group, or designing a service which means that people see the right specialist at the right time.

As part of ARMA’s Standards of Care project, a group of people with a range of musculoskeletal conditions has come together to identify what needs to happen in health services to enable them to minimise the pain and disability of arthritis, and to help people remain independent. They have suggested reasonable expectations of care and services for all people with musculoskeletal conditions.

We believe people have a right to:

  • Access to appropriate services for all people with musculoskeletal conditions
  • Timely diagnosis and treatment
  • Information
  • Services which are centered on the needs of users
  • Independence and self-determination

Read more about our overarching principles for the standards of care for people with musculoskeletal conditions.