Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance

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COVID-19 / Coronavirus

We have collated information and advice on the coronavirus outbreak and MSK conditions including key guidance for professionals and sources of information for patients.

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subscribe buttonsupport buttonARMA is an umbrella body bringing together patient organisations and professional bodies representing the breadth of musculoskeletal health.

Our vision for musculoskeletal (MSK) health: the MSK health of the population is promoted throughout life; everyone with MSK conditions receives appropriate, high quality interventions to promote their health and well-being in a timely manner.

ARMA produces a monthly e-newsletter which will keep you up to date with news from our members and the MSK sector.

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Thinking Differently for MSK Health
ARMA virtual conference 2021

Monday 6 December 2021

Online interactive conference.

Musculoskeletal (MSK) services were not realising their potential before the pandemic. As we begin to recover services we have a chance not to go back, but forward to a new way of working – integrated, co-produced, effective.

Conference topics will include: the role of ICS and its place in MSK health; how to coproduce service transformation; Social prescribing for MSK; Prevention; MSK and health equalities; and what rheumatology needs from community services.

A draft agenda and line-up of speakers is now available.

Read more about the ARMA virtual conference 2021.

The MSK Webinar Series:

ARMA webinars are delivered in partnership with NHS England and aim to spread good practice and innovation to support improvements in the lives of people with MSK conditions.

Aimed at a multidisciplinary audience, they include good practice, service design and showcase innovation. Our webinars are usually delivered by people who have themselves implemented improvements, giving us a chance to ask advice from those who have experienced the challenges.

Topics are varied: from how to implement the national back pain pathway or how to set up an MSK service to how to support patients with MSK conditions to be more active.

Check what we have coming up and view the recordings of past webinars.

Bone and Joint Week 12-20 October 2021 – Now more than ever campaign

Now more than ever, good musculoskeletal health helps our wellbeing get back on track. As we rebuild our activity and how we work, eat and feel having the best musculoskeletal health helps us live better. Bone and Joint Week helps get people thinking about one of the most widespread and pressing health issues of our times.

See how you can get involved.

Pain and Musculoskeletal Conditions

Pain is something which is common to most musculoskeletal conditions. Pain is important to people with MSK conditions and to our members. In 2019 we supported a report on professional and patient experiences of pain services, and held a roundtable on chronic pain.

Read more about our work on pain.

Partnerships for Best MSK Health – ARMA annual lecture 2021

As we rebuild services and support after the pandemic, how can we ensure we deliver the best MSK health for the population?

Andrew Bennett, National Clinical Director MSK, NHSE/I, outlined the direction of travel for MSK services and support. This was followed by a panel discussion.

Watch the recording.

Call for mental health to be prioritised for musculoskeletal patients

In 2019, ARMA, supported by UK charity Arthritis Action, released a new report looking at the impact of mental health on people with arthritis and other musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions.

The report followed a roundtable event, organised by ARMA, which, for the first time, brought together leaders from Mind, NHS England, Arthritis Action, and other health charities to look at ways to improve access to effective psychological support for MSK patients.

Read more about the Report of Roundtable on Mental Health and Musculoskeletal Conditions

First contact MSK model review (March 2020) NHS confederation logo

A retrospective review of the influences, milestones, policies and practice developments in the First contact MSK model

This document takes the reader through the policy developments of MSK First Contact Practitioners in primary care. It will determine the timeline for the policies, the influences they had on each other and some of the strategic uni- and multi-professional work that contributed to its current position. It also provides a history of the research, evaluation, education and competency of FCP. The final section outlines future developments including workforce, education, supervision and governance.

Open the review document here.

Musculoskeletal core offer for Local NHS plans

The impact of musculoskeletal ill-health on individuals, NHS and the economy is widely recognised including in the NHS Long Term Plan: “Longer-term health conditions also make an increasing contribution to the overall burden of disease. Mental health, respiratory and musculoskeletal conditions are responsible for a substantial amount of poor health and place a substantial burden on the NHS and other care services.

Effectively addressing musculoskeletal conditions will therefore be important in delivering on the ambition of the long-term plan. ARMA’s Core Offer document aims to help those developing local NHS plans to understand what’s needed to deliver evidence-based, cost-effective services for good MSK population health, and to help those looking to improve services

Read and download the document here.

ARMA’s Policy Positions

ARMA position papers bring together information, evidence and policy recommendations on a range of key issues. They are developed with our members and represent an agreed position shared by the musculoskeletal community.