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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

World Scleroderma Day & Information Standard

We’re delighted to inform you that the Scleroderma Society is now accredited by the Information Standard. The Information Standard is a certification programme for organisations producing evidence-based health and care information for the public. To achieve the accreditation the Society underwent a rigorous assessment to check that the information produced is clear, accurate, balanced, evidence-based and up-to-date. When you see the Information Standard quality mark on any of our materials you can be assured that the information is trustworthy, reliable and creditable. Consultations In April-May the Society responded to 3 consultations – NHSE policy on commissioning Bosentan, NHSE investigating specialised services, Norther Ireland ...

BAcC's Governing Board & Training Standards

British Acupuncture Council conference: 25-27th September 2015. Early bird booking is now open on the website and the conference brochure is available to download. Non-practitioner members of the Governing Board With the retirement of Lord Charles Cecil from the BAcC Governing Board, a search is now occurring for new non-practitioner members of the Governing Board. For further information, please go to the Governing Board Member page on our website. Feedback on Education and Training standards of the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) Following lobbying by the BAcC, the PSA commissioned a review of education and training standard 9 for Accredited Registers. The PSA then agreed that education ...

BSR's State of Play and Position Statements

BSR have recently published The State of Play report. The State of Play in UK Rheumatology report captures for the first time the major challenges currently facing rheumatology services and the patients they serve, setting out a range of measures to address these at a national and local level. The key findings of the survey include: 8 out of 10 respondents felt that rheumatology services were no better now than in 2010 when there was a national audit highlighting deficiencies two-thirds rated their relationship with primary care colleagues as five out of ten or below, citing poor communication and lack of GP condition awareness ...

NHS England Business Plan 2015/16

Building the NHS of the Five Year Forward View NHS England has published its NHS business plan, summarising the headline goals and priorities for the year ahead. The plan sets out ten priorities to improve quality and access to services for patients, drive better value for money and to build the foundations for the future health and care system.

Love Your Bones 2015 - Portsmouth

The National Osteoporosis Society's Portsmouth Group are working in partnership with the Portsmouth ARMA Network to stage their Bone Health and Osteoporosis Patient and Public Conference in June. Wednesday 24th June 2015Mountbatten Centre, Portsmouth See the attached poster and the application form for delegates. You are also invited to join Portsmouth Hospital's Department of Rheumatology for an afternoon of light music and cream tea, Sunday 19th July.

Bright One

Bright One is a volunteer run communications agency for the third sector and Lynn Levy, our outgoing project co-ordinator, works as partnerships manager for this special organisation. Bright One’s vision is that all charities and not for profit organisations, even the small ones, should have access to quality communications. Its team of volunteers can help with strategy, branding, digital and PR at little or no cost and unlike other agencies, all Bright One profits are reinvested to develop volunteers’ skillsets. Bright One provides opportunities in all shapes and sizes, allowing charities to be involved, regardless of capacity ...

Guest Blog: Fracture Liaison Services

By Anne Thurston, Health Sector Relations Manager, National Osteoporosis Society This week, 18 months’ worth of furious activity finally came together in the launch of our Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) resources. This makes me so happy that I can’t think of it without doing a happy dance in my head! Let’s start at the beginning. A Fracture Liaison Service is simply a dedicated co-ordinator whose sole purpose it is to find people who are aged over 50 years and have broken a bone. The FLS co-ordinator will check their bone health and help them get the interventions they need to minimise their ...

North Wales ARMA Signposting

Over the last two years, North Wales ARMA Network Group (NWARMA) has developed a meaningful working relationship with the North Wales Betsi Cadwaladwr University Health Board (BCUHB). This relationship was formalised in the ground-breaking ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ launched on 31st July 2014. In the next few weeks a ‘Signposting’ initiative will also be launched. This will include the distribution of posters to GP Surgeries, NHS outpatient Clinics and other relevant agencies. Details will be highlighted here on the ARMA UK website as soon as the documentation has been formally released for circulation. Patients receiving an appointment letter for an MSK-orientated NHS clinic in ...

Photos from the BSR Rheumatology Conference

Some more photos from the BSR Rheumatology Conference in Manchester; these are of the ARMA member stands on Thursday.

EDS International Symposium 2016

EDS UK and the Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation, in alliance with the EDS consortium in Ghent and medical professionals internationally, are very proud to announce an EDS International Symposium in New York City during May 2016. The primary goal is to reclassify the diagnostic criteria for all the types of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. The symposium is also purposed with producing guidelines for medical professionals to use once a diagnosis has been reached as a universal guide for management. We are excited to be working on a project that will change the lives of those with EDS. Updated diagnostic criteria, published in medical ...

NOS Fractures Toolkit, Clinical Standards & Online Training

The National Osteoporosis Society has launched the following resources to support the implementation of Fracture Liaison Services (FLS), which are recognised as the best practice model for secondary fracture prevention. Clinical Standards for Fracture Liaison Services (FLS) The UK’s first set of national clinical standards for FLS set out the core criteria every FLS should meet to replicate evidence-based best practice. The Standards have been endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners, Royal College of Physicians, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, British Geriatric Society, British Menopause Society, British Orthopaedic Association, British Society for Rheumatology, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the International Osteoporosis Foundation ...

Health Education England’s 15-year Strategic Framework

Health Education England’s Open Strategic Framework Document (‘Framework 15’) builds upon the Strategic Intent Document which HEE published in February 2013 and the feedback to that and the refresh published in July 2013. Framework 15 is intended to act as a reference point for the system and provide the conceptual framework for how HEE approaches problems and identifies solutions, ensuring the focus remains on the patient. Read more here.

Pics from the Rheumatology Conference

Some photos of the ARMA member stands on Wednesday at the BSR Rheumatology Conference in Manchester.

Arthritis Champions

The Prime Minister has joined the fight against arthritis. PM David Cameron has become the latest prospective MP to commit to fighting for the prevention and cure of arthritis, whilst transforming the lives of people with the condition. This means the Prime Minister is now one of over 415 Arthritis Champions to agree to support our manifesto and work with us to fight for people with arthritis. Both Labour and Liberal Democrat Leaders, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, have also declared their support for our manifesto – you can read the comments from all of the party leaders here. Is your next ...

Some of the Thames walkers from 2014

May is Vasculitis Awareness Month (VAM)

Vasculitis UK works with its members to raise awareness about Vasculitis all year round. However in May we ask them to make that special effort to tell someone that May is Vasculitis Awareness Month (VAM). Vasculitis UK are coming up with a VAM 2015 campaign and have asked their members to send their pictures to create some new material for use on social media during the month. To raise awareness of Vasculitis in May, two members have organised the Thames Riverside Walk, which will take place on Saturday 16th May. Vasculitis UK also holds its AGM during May. This year’s speaker is ...

Discussing patient goals in Rheumatology

World AS Day took place on Saturday 2nd May. NASS asked members to raise awareness of AS amongst family and friends and help spread the word about AS. In addition to this, there was a social media campaign where we asked people to talk about their goals and what is important to them, holding a banner ‘I want to be able to...’ and completing the phrase. Their goal may be able to go back to work full time, take the dog for a long walk or sleep through the night. The aim of this campaign was to encourage people with ...

World AS Day is Coming! Saturday 2 May 2015

It’s World AS Day on Saturday 2 May. NASS use this day to raise awareness and understanding of ankylosing spondylitis. In a survey of NASS members we found that a third (33%) were rarely or never asked about what is important to them with their AS. We want that to change so patients’ goals become the central part of rheumatology appointments. We are asking people to tweet a photo of themselves holding up a sign with their AS goals on the day. Walk Your AS Off runs from 1 May 2015 to 31 May 2015 with the aim of helping people ...

UK Gout Society new address and supporter survey

The UK Gout Society has moved. Our new address is: UK Gout Society PO Box 90, HINDHEAD GU27 9FW The email address remains the same: You are invited to participate in a survey to gain views on the Society. We are interested in your honest opinions, whether they are positive or negative, as they will help us to improve our service. The survey can be accessed via UK Gout Society homepage.

Arthritis Action Re-Launch & Report

Arthritis Action is marking the launch of its new name and logo in June with the publication of a report which investigates the psychological impact of arthritis and explores NHS provision for people with the condition. Formerly known as the Arthritic Association, Arthritis Action has been supporting people with arthritis for 70 years. Following a strategic review, the charity has sponsored in-depth research with more than 700 people with arthritis, and a group of health professionals. The review led to a rebranding of the charity and the key findings of the research will be published in a new report ...

National Voices’ Wellbeing Our Way programme

An invitation to POW WOWs (shared learning workshops) National Voices’ Wellbeing Our Way programme is about enabling people to manage their health in the ways that matter to them. It is supported by The Health Foundation, an independent charity working to improve the quality of healthcare in the UK. Wellbeing Our Way works through community and voluntary organisations. Our POW WOWs are a great opportunity for shared learning between staff and volunteers in organisations who are working directly with people who use services to empower them to live well with their conditions or disabilities; as well as those who are developing ...

British Acupuncture Council presents at Evidence Live

At the Evidence Live conference in April at the University of Oxford, BAcC highlighted some of the methodological issues around research into acupuncture, with a focus on osteoarthritis. We presented a poster called "Evaluating Acupuncture: What works for the Patient", showing research data and guidelines on acupuncture effectiveness. For more information contact GMC guidance reflects Accredited Registers The Professional Standards Authority recently asked the General Medical Council to amend its explanatory guidance on Good Medical Practice. The guidance explains how doctors can put those principles into practice when, for example, delegating care and making referrals. The GMC has now amended its guidance ...

Scleroderma & RSA conference | Self-management classes

Save the date: joint annual conference with the RSA – 20th June 2015, Manchester We are now taking bookings for our joint annual conference with the RSA. The theme is ‘treatments’ and topics include: skin and ulcers; the gastrointestinal tract and nutrition; and pulmonary hypertension and breathlessness Speakers include leading scleroderma and Raynaud’s specialists and is open to all. To find out more and to book your place please visit our website. Self-Management Classes We will be launching a variety of self management classes from June. Sessions include skin care, nutrition, fatigue and pain. These sessions will be scleroderma focussed but will also include useful tips that ...

New resource: Hip Fracture Care booklet

ARMA has just added to its Resources page a booklet produced by the National Hip Fracture Database. The NHFD's “My Hip Fracture Care: 12 Questions to ask” is a helpful guide to support patients undergoing hip fracture treatment. It’s a resource for patients, their families and carers produced in association with the NOS, RCS, BOA, BGS, and Age UK.

A Fair Assessment of Musculoskeletal Conditions

Last month Arthritis Research UK published a report making a series of recommendations designed to improve the recognition of conditions such as osteoarthritis and back pain in assessments. It is called A Fair Assessment? Musculoskeletal Conditions – The need for local prioritisation’. The report sets out the results of research into the Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNA) and Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies (JHWS) of the 152 local authorities that have a statutory duty to publish them, along with any supporting documents. In particular, we looked for the number and context of mentions of: Generic mentions of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions/diseases Osteoarthritis Back/back pain Fragility fractures, bone ...

Guest Blog: Getting it Right First Time

by Mike Kimmons CB, Chief Executive, British Orthopaedic Association On Monday 16 March, the BOA launched the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) report. GIRFT was commissioned in 2013 by the Secretary of State for Health and NHS England and published with their agreement. Evidence-based and solutions-oriented, the GIRFT team used multiple sources to compile a unique data set for each NHS Hospital Trust in England that provides elective orthopaedic services and constructed comparative performance dashboards with the objective of benchmarking good practice. It also includes an important stocktake of rehabilitation services conducted by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy ...

Guest Blog: The Need for Competency-Based Commissioning

by Matthew Bennett, President, British Chiropractic Association As we all know back pain is the single biggest cause of disability in the UK according to the Global Burden of Disease Report. Despite this huge cost both in human and financial terms, care can often appear to be disjointed. In 2009 NICE published guidelines on the Management of persistent non-specific low back pain but many regions in the UK still struggle to implement the guidance and with many different providers being involved in the management of back pain an integrated approach is elusive. Due to the episodic nature of much low back ...

Guest Blog: What the ARMA Manifesto means for me

by Ella Vine, Chief Executive, FibroAction It was a pleasure to attend last week’s ARMA parliamentary reception, an event with expert speakers and healthcare professionals on the subject of musculoskeletal conditions. The event was well attended and it was good to see that some MPs are genuinely interested in the cause and support the 2015 ARMA Manifesto. Lord Hunt, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, has spoken about the challenges lying ahead of us to improve the diagnosis and care of MSK conditions and addressed all six points of ARMA’s Manifesto. One of the biggest challenges for all of us ...

6th Annual ARMA Lecture, 2014

ARMA held its 6th annual Lecture on Human Rights Day, 10 December 2014, at Westminster Central Hall, London. Our Speaker this year was Lord Hunt of King’s Heath, Shadow Labour Health Minister in the House of Lords and former Chair of Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, as well as President of the Royal Society for Public Health. Lord Hunt spoke about a broad range of issues and challenges facing the NHS in England and Labour’s view of these, and went on to commend and express his support for all the recommendations in ARMA’s General Election Manifesto. Listen to Lord Hunt’s ...

New ARMA Resource for Networks

The ARMA office has just created and published a Network Induction Pack. It is a guide to provide advice and assistance when forming a new network, and also details specific advice for already established Networks. You can download the Network Induction Pack (655 Kb) by clicking the PDF icon. A core aim for ARMA is to foster co-operation, understanding and mutual support between individuals and organisations. Visit our ARMA Networks and Local Groups page.

Guest Blog: Musings from Primary Care

by Dr. Alan Nye, President Primary Care Rheumatology Society, Executive Director, Pennine MSK Partnership Ltd. This is my final month as President of the Primary Care Rheumatology Society and it’s been a very interesting 2 years for me. I apologise that this blog is England-centric, but England is the totality of my NHS experience and I cannot write about areas outside of my experience. I would like to cover, albeit briefly, three areas that over the past few years have become very dear to my heart: MSK training for primary care MSK networks and commissioning MSK services Shared decision-making   For a long time the lack ...

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.



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