• The Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA) is the umbrella body for the arthritis and musculoskeletal community in the UK, and our mission is to transform the quality of life of people with musculoskeletal conditions. We have 40 member organisations ranging from specialised support groups for rare diseases to major research charities and national professional bodies.

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Commissioning musculoskeletal services in England

Read ARMA’s Key Messages for Commissioners

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Improving outcomes through MSK Clinical Networks:
a national seminar

Peter Kay's slides

This event took place on January 21st 2016 at the Grand Connaught Rooms in Holborn.

Introduced by Peter Kay, MSK National Clinical Director, NHS England, our guest speakers presented on a number of topics focused on improving MSK care, as well as exploring working case studies.

Find out more.

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ARMA Benefits Survey Results 2014-2015

A survey of people with MSK and who have undertaken disability benefit assessments.

See the results, respondents’ comments and our key findings.

Musculoskeletal and Arthritis News

The Burden of Musculoskeletal Diseases in the United States

The Burden of Musculoskeletal Diseases in the United States: Prevalence, Societal and Economic Costs (BMUS), 3rd edition, is produced by the United States Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI) in collaboration with a number of organizations, mostly professional societies.The mission of the USBJI is to advocate for and promote multidisciplinary, coordinated, and patient-centered care to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. BMUS underpins the activities of the GAMH/BJD and USBJI, its member organizations, and healthcare professionals, researchers, patients and many others addressing musculoskeletal health issues.Visit the BMUS website.

iO Convention 2016: Reaching out

iO Convention is a multi-streamed, collaborative event showcasing the very best of osteopathy. The last two years have focused on bringing the profession together to forge a new way forward. This year’s core theme is all about building on that unity to explore the possibilities that open up to us when we reach out to others. Whether it is our patients, our colleagues, other healthcare professions or the wider community, amazing things can happen when we start to reach out. New dates and venueWe are pleased to announce that our 2016 Convention will be held at the Beaumont Estate in Windsor. ...

Guest Blog: Implementing the national clinical audit recommendations

by Ali Rivett, Director of Clinical Affairs, BSR The first annual report was published in January and revealed wide variation in care across England and Wales. This is consistent with how other national audits have reported in their first year and we expect to identify where improvements have been made following the analysis for the 2nd cohort. To date, we have disseminated the report to all participating trusts, health boards and commissioning groups and will be presenting further analysis at the BSR annual conference in April. Key to taking forward the recommendations and making a real difference to patient care will, however, ...

First rheumatoid and early inflammatory arthritis audit

On 22 January BSR launched its first annual report from the National Clinical Audit for rheumatoid and early inflammatory arthritis. Representatives from the whole rheumatology community assembled at The King's Fund, London to hear the key results. The report analyses data on 6,354 patients and enables rheumatology services to measure their performance against NICE Quality Standards, benchmarked to regional and national comparators for the very first time. Attendees were joined by Laura Guest, CEO of BSR, Sarah Winstone, Founding Partner at Incisive Health, Ailsa Bosworth, CEO and Founder of NRAS, Prof. Anthony Woolf, Chair of ARMA, BSR President, Prof. Simon Bowman and President elect, Dr ...

FREE Health Care Professional Conference “Bone Health and Osteoporosis

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust looks forward to welcoming you to our 10th Bone Health and Osteoporosis Conference taking place on the 22nd June 2016. This event is a Partnership event organised by the Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, Portsmouth and South East Hampshire Group National Osteoporosis Society and Portsmouth and District ARMA Local Network“Osteoporosis affects almost three million people in the UK, with one in two women and one in five men over the age of fifty breaking a bone because of poor bone health each year. As our national life expectancy increase so will the prevalence of this chronic disease, ...

RCN-SOTN International Conference & Exhibition

"Valuing the past, embracing the future"The RCN Society of Orthopaedic and Trauma Nursing International Conference and Exhibition is due to take place on Thursday 8 - Friday 9 September 2016 at Cardiff City Hall.Our 29th annual conference takes place during the RCN’s 100 year celebrations and it is fitting therefore to examine our heritage as a nursing speciality as well as looking forward to the ways we may provide future care for our patients.RCN are currently accepting abstract submissions for this workshop event. The submission deadline is midnight Tuesday 1 March 2016. You can open or save the Orthopaedics Conference ...

Portsmouth Love Your Bones 2016 - 10th Anniversary Conference

On 22nd June 2016, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust and the Portsmouth and South East Hampshire group of the National Osteoporosis society celebrate our 10 years of Love Your Bones.The theme of the anniversary conference — “10 years of bone health and osteoporosis awareness, research and clinical practice”— reminds us all the role we have in looking after our bones whatever stage of our life.Click here for the Love Your Bones application form.We are so lucky that Craig Revel Horwood from the BBC Strictly Come Dancing Saturday evening show and Patron of the National Osteoporosis Society, will be joining us and ...

MBE for NRAS Founder and CEO

Ailsa Bosworth, NRAS Founder and CEO, Awarded MBE in New Year's HonoursIt gives us great pleasure to share with you that our CEO, Ailsa Bosworth, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's 2016 New Year's Honours, for services to people with Rheumatoid Arthritis.Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) is awarded for a significant achievement or outstanding service to the community. An MBE is also awarded for local 'hands-on' service which stands out as an example to other people.Ailsa says:"I am delighted. It came totally out of the blue. It is really a reflection on my team. ...

Arthritis Research UK vacancies: Public Affairs Manager & Policy Officer

Policy Officer at Arthritis Research UKOur Policy & Public Affairs team has a vital role in driving forward Arthritis Research UK’s aim of achieving a tangible, positive change in the quality of life for people with arthritis. We influence policy by identifying factors that must change to make a positive difference for people with arthritis. We are looking for an enthusiastic and flexible Policy Officer to join the team. You will be responsible for work including:Developing evidence-based policy across our priority areas.Leading on commissioned projects within our priority areas.Building relationships with policy makers and sector stakeholders.You will have:Experience gained from recent ...

Communications and Fundraising Manager vacancy

Arthritis Action is recruiting a Communications and Fundraising Manager (Maternity Cover) to effectively manage, coordinate and monitor the Charity’s communications and fundraising activities to raise its profile, enhance revenue streams and develop new sources of income. The role will be based in Arthritis Action’s Central London office.To find out more about the role and how to apply, please click on this link: Arthritis Action jobs

Arthritis Care Get Active in Wales and Northern Ireland

Arthritis Care in Wales Get Active service has received an award from The Big Lottery Fund to inspire people with arthritis to get moving in mid and north Wales.60 volunteer activity champions will be trained to encourage people with arthritis to take exercise, and remain active even when the initial enthusiasm has worn off. It is anticipated that the service will launch in April. For more information contact: Mary Cowern MaryC@arthritiscare.org.ukClick each photo for the full image:  Arthritis Care in Northern Ireland, has been shortlisted for WHO/Belfast Healthy Cities Award for the Staying Connected project, a valuable service that helps ...

NASS is Fab at 40!

2016 sees NASS celebrate our 40th birthday! We’ll be inviting our members and supporters to join us in a range of activities to mark the occasion whilst raising vital awareness of Ankylosing Spondylitis. We will be:Raising awareness of AS during Fab at 40 Fortnight from 1-15 May. This will include World AS Day on Saturday 7 MayEncouraging people with AS to join us in Bath at our Members’ Day on 4 JuneCelebrating at our “Fab at 40” Party on 15 October in LondonNASS Research Fund 2016This year sees the return of our research fund with £75,000 available for projects around ...

NHS Learning handbook

The Learning Handbook provides guidance and tools to support systemic learning for healthcare projects.Many of the tools included can be used flexibly at any stage of a project, and can be adapted as you require. These are designed to assist with the foundations of building and contributing to a reciprocal culture within your organisation. Each tool is accompanied by guidance for effective learning.Use the interactive handbook on the NHS-HQ website or download a PDF copy to keep.

New BSR guidelines on prescribing anti-rheumatic drugs in pregnancy

British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) publishes new guidelines on prescribing anti-rheumatic drugs in pregnancy and breastfeeding to aid decision making in clinical practiceDate: 13/01/2016The new BSR guidelines make a number of specific recommendations for the use of standard and/or biologic disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), providing crucial advice for clinicians, obstetricians and midwives.The management of patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases during pregnancy is complicated by several factors, including an increased burden of pregnancy morbidity that is partly due to increased disease activity, and so it is vital to maintain adequate control of disease activity with medications that are compatible with pregnancy.The prescription ...

BIMM 2016 Diary of events and courses

Diary details of courses and events from the British Instutute of Musculoskeletal Medicine for the coming year.Dates include the Spring Symposium, Injection RoadShow, an Occupational Medicine module; and in March, a Fluoroscopic Injection course.Open and download the complete BIMM-2016-Diary in PDF.

Contact your MP and NICE Clinical Guidance

Contact your MP Campaign Following a good year that featured a ministerial debate on fibromyalgia in the House of Parliament, FMA UK is contacting all MPs and members of the House of Lords to engage them on the subject of fibromyalgia. We plan to ask them to become fibromyalgia ambassadors and be more mindful of the plight of their constituents that are affected by fibromyalgia.We are excited about this venture, as the more support we have at parliament the better that our cause can be advanced and improve the support for people living with fibromyalgia.To boost the process of getting ...

1st Portsmouth and District ARMA Network Meeting - Feb 2016

The Portsmouth and district ARMA Local Network, would like to invite you to its first networking event. The open meeting for musculoskeletal (MSK) Consultants, Nurses and Health Care Professionals will also be attended by representatives from National and Local Patient Organisations  to give the event a truly integrated and dynamic delegate group.Wednesday, 3rd February 2016. Mountbatten Centre, Alexandra Park.We are very pleased to confirm that Professor Peter Kay, FRCS Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon & National Clinical Director for MSK, will be joining us and will deliver the key note presentation.We also will be hearing back from the Clinical Commissioning Group about ...

Stevens fires broadside against ‘institutional self-interest’

By Lawrence Dunhill, Health Service Journal, 7 January 2016 Simon Stevens has said a court decision supporting a major reconfiguration in Greater Manchester presents a “wider lesson” for the NHS.The NHS England chief executive also criticised Wythenshawe Hospital, saying spurious claims were made to advance a “mistakenly conceived institutional self-interest”.As revealed earlier on Thursday 7th January, a High Court judgement has backed commissioners’ decision to remove emergency and high risk general surgery from Wythenshawe, which is run by University Hospital of South Manchester Foundation Trust.Mr Stevens said on Thursday afternoon: “Lives will be saved by this welcome ruling, which ...

The Institute of Osteopathy runs Public Health Campaign on osteoporosis

Public health is everyone’s responsibility and all health practitioners, working in partnership, have a role to play in tackling such challenges. In response to this, and in collaboration with the National Osteoporosis Society, the Institute of Osteopathy will be running an osteoporosis public health campaign throughout 2016. The Institute will be encouraging its members to spread the word about prevention, detection and management to at risk individuals through initiatives such as Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month in May and will be providing a variety of resources and training opportunities to encourage osteopaths to get involved. For more information, please contact matthew@osteopathy.org

Acupuncture Awareness Week Olympic Celebrity

We are delighted to be able to announce our celebrity for the week is Olympic medallist Becky Addlington.   Core standards in pain management services include acupuncture New standards by the Faculty of Pain Medicine have been produced at http://www.rcoa.ac.uk/system/files/FPM-CSPMS-UK2015.pdf, which state the core role of acupuncture within these services.   Acupuncture Research Symposium – 19th March This is coming up on the 19th March at Kings College London. If you are interested in research, come along! See http://www.arrcsymposium.org.uk/ for further information and to book.

Preventing musculoskeletal disorders has wider impacts for public health

From the Public Health Matters blog, Public Health England Kevin Fenton, 11 January 2016 — Health and WellbeingLife expectancy in England has risen by more than five years in the past two decades, yet for many people, a longer life will involve more years spent in ill-health.Earlier this year, The Global Burden of Disease project – an international study ranking the diseases and risk factors that cause death and disability – highlighted the toll that musculoskeletal conditions are taking on people’s health.Musculoskeletal conditions are disorders of the bones, joints, muscles and spine. They can cause pain, stiffness or a loss ...

NOS Osteoporosis Conference dates

Osteoporosis 2016, the National Osteoporosis Society’s conference, is taking place in Birmingham between 7th and 9th November 2016. This three day event sees the world’s leading experts on the condition discuss the latest patient-focused diagnostics and treatment advice. Osteoporosis 2016 also gives health professionals working in the field the opportunity to hear from and to network with peers.  Speakers include: Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England’s Medical Director; Professor Serge Ferrari from the International Osteoporosis Foundation and Dr Joe Eustace, Professor of Medicine from Cork.There are opportunities to exhibit and to sponsor the conference and all details can be found on ...

Charity Job - Membership and Office Administrator

Arthritis Action is recruiting a Membership and Office Administrator to be based in their Central London office. This is a varied role providing operational administrative support to Arthritis Action’s membership and Groups. The role involves being the first point of contact for membership queries by phone, mail and email, providing high quality customer service to our membership. The successful candidate will also be required to take responsibility for overseeing office procedures with regard to facilities, stationery and other office services. To find out more about the role and how to apply, please visit the Arthritis Action Jobs page.

Implementing a public health approach to MSK

7th Annual ARMA Lecture, 2015ARMA held its 7th annual lecture on 24th November 2015, at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, London. Our Speaker this year was Professor John Newton, Chief Knowledge Officer at Public Health England, as well as Honorary Professor of Public Health and Epidemiology at the University of Manchester. Professor Newton spoke about the Global Burden of Disease data and the importance of meeting the challenges posed by the rising burden of musculoskeletal disorders. The event was very well-attended and clearly reaffirmed the central importance of effectively tackling MSK as part of a holistic and more ...

NV - Accelerated Access Review online survey

Giving people a stronger voice in research and innovation – Accelerated Access Review online surveyThe Government’s Accelerated Access Review aims to speed up access to transformative drugs, devices and diagnostics for NHS patients.National Voices, a coalition of health and social care charities, including ARMA, is working with the review team to make sure that when new treatments are being developed, people with ongoing health needs are involved at all stages.A draft set of ‘I Statements’ describing what good involvement would look like, from the perspective of people who use services, has been developed.  National Voices now need the help of ...

New Resource from the CSP - Self-referral: the evidence

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy has laid out data and charts showing why we should support self-referral: evidence for GPs, employers and patients, and a map showing the CCGs that currently offer self-referral in the United Kingdom.Evidence shows that self-referral to physiotherapy results in increased patient satisfaction as well as benefits for GPs and other stakeholders in relation to time, costs and workload.Click for ARMA's Resources area where you can access this information from the CSP and browse other resources. 

Guest Blog: What a time to leave

by Sarah Wright, Policy and Public Affairs Officer, ARMAWell, what a time to be leaving ARMA! We’re finally starting to get the recognition that MSK deserves and this Alliance of organisations is now recognised as the place to go to for solutions to the MSK problem. But let’s not open the champagne just yet, there is still a great deal of work to do and what a perfect time to hand over the ARMA baton to someone to take it to the next level.I joined ARMA in April 2009 at an impressionable age and have been fortunate to have had ...

Mediaplanet 2015 Bone and Joint Health campaign

ARMA is pleased to once again support Mediaplanet on the 2015 Bones and Joints campaign to raise awareness of bone and joint health, from everyday strains to critical musculoskeletal diseases.The campaign, launching today, features leading editorial from industry experts and insights on what is being done to provide better quality of life for patients with bone and joint problems. First-hand accounts from patients living with osteoporosis can be found on the dedicated campaign site, alongside pieces by Craig Revel Horwood and Greg Retter, Clinical Director at The Royal Ballet, on what we can learn from dancers about bone and joint ...

Christmas news from the Blackberry Clinic

NEW BOOK:The new ‘Oxford Textbook of Musculoskeletal Medicine’ second edition. Edited by Mike Hutson & Adam Ward. This book was 3 years in the making and crystallises all the available knowledge on this magnificently diverse subject. On the Oxford University Press website, search for the book, add to the basket and then use promo code AMPROMO13 to get 20% off.NEW COURSE: Blackberry Education spinal injection course, skill-based workshops using KIP phantoms. At Blackberry Clinic, March 17th 2016. Click here for more details.NEW FILM: The British Institute of Musculoskeletal Medicine and Loughborough University have released a film about Musculoskeletal Medicine ...

LUPUS UK Silver Jubilee

In November 2015 LUPUS UK marked its Silver Jubilee. In its 25th year LUPUS UK has awarded a record £792,000 in grants for lupus research and specialist nurses, bringing the total to £7.3 million since 1992.Positions for specialist lupus nurses are normally funded for up to five years with the ambition that the NHS will continue the roles permanently. Overall, the charity has awarded grants for over 20 specialist lupus nurses, many of whom have continued in their roles after the initial funding.“The specialist lupus nurse provides a very important point of contact between my appointments with the rheumatologist. I ...


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.