• 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.

msk-commissioning-map

Commissioning musculoskeletal services in England

Read ARMA’s Key Messages for Commissioners

word cloud image

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.

Benefits Survey graph

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

Vacancy: Policy and public affairs assistant at Arthritis Research UK

Policy and public affairs assistantArthritis Research UK are looking for a highly skilled policy and public affairs assistant, to join our policy and public affairs team. About the role: You will be working within the external affairs directorate, where the policy and public affairs team has a vital role in driving forward the charity’s aim of achieving a tangible, positive change in the lives of people with arthritis by 2020. We seek to influence policy by identifying factors that must be changed, by Government or others, to make a positive difference in the quality of life of people with ...

Framework to Empower Patients

British Society for Rheumatology publishes framework to empower patients to take control of their care.A lack of national data and indicators in the UK makes it difficult for rheumatologists to demonstrate effective care for patients with inflammatory arthritis. This also leaves patients without the information they need to take control of their care. As a result it is difficult for commissioners and those designing services to understand rheumatology and consequently, chronic and complex care of rheumatic diseases has a low priority.These are the key findings from a British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) visit to the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and ...

NASS turns 40 this year - Great North Run & 300-mile cycle

NASS turns 40 this year, and two of our very own are helping us to celebrate in style!NASS trustee Dr Karl Gaffney, from Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, is spreading the birthday cheer across the pond as he embarks on a 300 mile cycle to Paris on 20-23 July. You can donate via his JustGiving page, or by texting CLTP followed by your amount to 70070.Our Chief Executive Debbie Cook is also taking on her own massive challenge as she tackles the Great North Run on 11 September. Read more of Debbie’s story on her JustGiving page.Visit our website to ...

British Society for Rheumatology - March items

Best Practice Awards – winning case studies now availableThe winning case studies of the BSR 2016 Best Practice Awards in Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Disorders (RMDs) are now available to download on the BSR website. The case studies showcase the range of innovative approaches being taken in the delivery of clinical rheumatology services across the UK. All 14 winning projects were able to demonstrate improved outcomes for people with RMDs, better coordination of care and reduced costs. Each entry underwent robust economic analysis, which looked at the impact of the services on clinical, financial and patient reported outcomes. Site visits were ...

Pain Alliance Europe's Red Balloon Project

Pain Alliance Europe are launching a Red Balloon campaign in early April 2016.PAE members will be encouraged to make chronic pain visible and considered, by staging photographs with groups of emblematic red balloons, and exploding balloons - "releasing the pain" on social media posts.The red balloon is a metaphor for the growth of chronic pain from a tiny tingle to an explosive impact.Look out for the red balloons and the #releasethepain tags on Instagram and Facebook.

Realising the Value of People and Communities

The “At the Heart of Health” report, from the Health Foundation and Nesta, explores the value of people and communities in healthcare, in the context of, and in support of the NHS Five Year Forward View vision. Realising the Value of: Peer support Self-management education Health coaching Group activities to support health and wellbeing Asset-based approaches in a health and wellbeing context What are person-centred and community-centred approached for health and wellbeing? How have these approaches developed? Click to download and open the report document (PDF, 865kb), an overview of the evidence and benefits and their impact.

Young Scientist Prize & FLS Champions’ Summit

Young Scientist Prize 2016This is a £4,500 award recognising the outstanding work of a young investigator pursuing research into osteoporosis and/or fragility fractures. The winner also has the opportunity to speak at Osteoporosis 2016, our leading conference, in November.The award consists of a £4,000 research grant to be used to further the research career of the recipient and a £500 recognition gift.Young Scientist Prize 2016 on YouTube.Dr Fjola Johannesdottir, 2014 Young Scientist Prize Winner says: “The grant has given me the valuable opportunity to carry out two studies. It has also enabled me to collaborate with the world leading Bouxsein ...

Edgar Stene Prize 2016 UK Winner

The winner of the Edgar Stene Prize 2016 has been announced, and ARMA would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Simon Stones.Simon was chosen out of 16 entries from the UK to be put forward to the overall Europe-wide competition on the topic of "Living with a rheumatic or musculoskeletal disease (RMD): How I take action to enjoy life to the full”. You can read Simon’s winning essay as well as the entries awarded 2nd and 3rd prize on the EULAR PARE website.The Edgar Stene Prize 2017 will be launched at the forthcoming EULAR congress in London, 8-11th June ...

Chief Executive Vacancy – British Acupuncture Council, West London

The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) is the leading organisation for traditional acupuncture in the UK with around 3,000 members. The BAcC is a non-profit membership organisation with a turnover of around £1.6m and reserves in line with the Governing Board’s target. The BAcC is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.You will deliver our current strategic objectives for 2015-8, and set our future strategy. It is vital that our members are properly served, their views represented, and that they are proportionately regulated. For this to happen, you will need to ensure that the BAcC maintains persuasive relationships with government and opinion ...

Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases approved as Lupus Centre of Excellence

LUPUS UK has named The Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD), as a LUPUS UK Centre of Excellence in recognition of the Bath-based hospital’s multi-disciplinary approach to diagnosis, treatment and management of the condition. The RNHRD, part of the Royal United Hospital, is one of only six centres in the UK to achieve this accolade. A plaque marking the announcement was unveiled by local celebrity Dr Phil Hammond on Tuesday 1st March 2016.Sue Brown, Consultant Nurse and member of the Connective Tissue Disease (CTD) service at the RNHRD has been a cornerstone of the Trust’s clinical service for lupus ...

Guest Blog: MSK Clinical Network Project

by Sarah Marsh, National Policy Lead, Long Term Conditions, NHS England As we begin the new financial year and our plans for the upcoming months become more structured, I thought it would be a good opportunity to share my thoughts on the challenges heading our way; as well as a chance to share our ideas and reinforce our bid for your support as we further the momentum of all the work streams, including the MSK Knowledge Network Programme. My aim for this coming year is to continue to support our programme strategies whilst reinforcing the links established with other MSK work ongoing ...

UK Gout Society - Patient board member wanted

The UK Gout Society is looking for a gout patient to join its board of trustees.Ideally, we are looking for someone who is reasonably well-informed and articulate about their condition.  The applicant will be happy to participate in a bi-annual Board of Trustees Meeting - either face-to-face or via telephone.  In addition, there may be ad-hoc email contact for advice on charity governance and activities and review and input requested on UK Gout Society patient materials. They may also be required to speak to the media.This is a voluntary position but travel expenses will be reimbursed.  Should you know anyone ...

Award for Young People and Families Service

Arthritis Care Scotland has received a major award for our Young People and Families Service from The Alliance Scotland. The Joint Potential project helps to remove the barriers facing young people with arthritis and increase their confidence and aspirations.The project will embed a pathway of self-management support by working closely with partners in health and social care. 

New Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of GCA

The new national guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of Giant Cell Arteritis are nearing completion. These guidelines, which PMRGCAuk has played a key role in developing, have the potential to transform the treatment of GCA.A major symposium led by our PMRGCAuk’s President, rheumatologist Bhaskar Dasgupta, was met from 10-12 March in Southend to discuss the guidelines. Patient representatives from PMRGCAuk sat on the committee which has drawn up the guidelines and have played an active role in ensuring our perspective as patients.Following that symposium, an expert committee of the British Society of Rheumatologists will formally review the guidelines but, ...

Lord Wills on GCA symptoms being missed

Too many GPs miss symptoms of GCA says charity patron Lord Wills, but exciting progress is being made. PMRGCAuk patron Lord Wills, formerly a health minister himself, has made a passionate call for improved diagnosis and treatment of GCA in a speech to rheumatologists who had gathered from across the world to attend a special symposium in Southend organised by our president Professor Bhaskar Dasgupta. Lord Wills (pictured left) condemned the poor diagnosis and treatment which mean that an estimated 3,000 patients a year suffer sight loss through GCA. "Why are thousands of these avoidable tragedies happening every year?" he asked. "Far too ...

MSc in Musculoskeletal Medicine Loughborough University 2016

Based at the new National Centre of Sports and Exercise Medicine with BIMM Teaching Faculty Programme leader: Dr Patrick Wheeler This course deals with the clinical assessment and management of musculoskeletal disorders. The MSc programme is open for application from members of the following regulated healthcare professions with a minimum 2 years' experience post-qualification, and proof of valid standing with the approved regulator. Programme Aims: To educate and train medically qualified doctors and allied health professionals with a qualification relevant to the musculoskeletal field in the theory and practice of musculoskeletal medicine to a standard sufficient to practice in a MSK service at an intermediate ...

FMA UK volunteer highly commended

We at FMA UK are delighted to announce that Janet Horton, a long-standing trustee, has been awarded recognition as a “Highly Commended Volunteer” by the Small Charities Coalition and Merkel UK for her outstanding volunteering work and commitment in all her voluntary roles. Janet has been working tirelessly in the fibromyalgia field for two decades and has also been actively involved in many projects of the charity, despite living with this condition herself. Since 1993, Janet has been answering Benefits Helpline calls and emails from desperate people in sometimes dramatic and emergency situations; furthermore, she frequently does this during “unsociable hours.” Janet has ...

New Acupuncture websites from the BAcC

 The British Acupuncture Council has launched a website - Qualified Acupuncturist, explaining about what to look for in your acupuncturist.Acupuncture Safety websiteWith the British Medical Acupuncture Society and the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists, BAcC have launched a website Acupuncture Safety Resource, which offers  basic information on what practitioners who do acupuncture need to be aware of as regard to patient safety. The site is being highlighted to Osteopaths in their next magazine by the BAcC Chair, Ron Bishop.

Leading edge UK rheumatology services revealed

The winners of the 2016 Best Practice Awards in Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Disorders (RMDs) have been announced, with this year’s crop of winners showing the breadth and depth in quality of services across the UK. All winning projects were able to demonstrate improved outcomes for people with RMDs, better co-ordinated care and reduced costs.Fourteen winners have been chosen across three categories: Outstanding Best Practice, for mature programmes that have consistently demonstrated excellence in transforming the lives of patients. Best Practice, for initiatives demonstrating innovation and resourcefulness in changing clinical practice. This year we have added a new category of Emerging ...

Scottish rheumatology services understaffed says nine in ten rheumatology professionals

Over 90% of Scottish health professionals working in rheumatology units considered their service to not be sufficiently staffed. This is one of the key findings of the report Rheumatology in Scotland: The State of Play which is launched today, based on a survey of members of the Scottish Society for Rheumatology (SSR) and the British Society for Rheumatology (BSR). These bodies represent the healthcare professionals caring for patients with conditions as diverse as rheumatoid arthritis, gout and lupus. Roles considered the most understaffed included specialist nurses, rheumatology trainees and allied health professionals.  Other key findings in Rheumatology in ...

Rheumatology 2016 social events

BSR are hosting a range of social events in the evenings throughout the Rheumatology 2016 conference, 26-28 April, Glasgow. These events are fantastic networking opportunities and a chance to see some of Glasgow's most beautiful sites.President's Reception - Glasgow City ChambersConference Dinner - Oran MorRheumatology Quiz - Glasgow SECCInternational Delegates Reception - Glasgow SECC BSR First Patient eventFor the first time the British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) will be holding a one day event on Tuesday 26th April 2016 for patients. The event runs alongside the BSR rheumatology conference and gives you, the patient, an opportunity to hear from world class experts in ...

Start planning your Rheumatology 2016 conference

....with our programme planner tool.The Rheumatology 2016 programme is now live and we've given you a handy planner tool so you can make the most of your conference visit. Use the tool to filter sessions by type or by day and create a custom itinerary to make sure you don't miss your favourite sessions and keynote speakers.

Charities ‘crucial’ to widespread implementation of care and support planning

The knowledge, skills, experience and resources of voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations are crucial to the widespread implementation of care and support planning suggests a new discussion paper from National Voices’ Wellbeing Our Way programme. The report argues that charities have a vital role in supporting people to develop care and support plans, and in working with people with long-term conditions and their clinical teams to put the plans into practice. The publication includes examples of where charities have added real value to the care and support planning process, including from ARMA member National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society.Download What ...

EULAR's new campaign

EULAR PARE  have launched their World Arthritis Day 2016 campaign,'' The Future In Your Hands''.See the website www.worldarthritisday.org for more details and download your campaign toolkit. 

NHS England Consultation - revisions to Clinical Reference Groups

Engagement on proposed revisions to Clinical Reference Groups in specialised commissioningNHS England listened to feedback from CRG members and wider stakeholders on how well the current system is working through workshops for chairs and patient and public voice members held over the past 18 months. We have also listened to feedback from CRG members and wider stakeholders through the Investing in Specialised Services public consultation in 2015.NHS England believes that the proposed revisions to CRGs along with the additional resources we are proposing to invest into the CRG infrastructure, will significantly strengthen their ability to support the delivery of high ...

Outstanding Best Practice Award from the British Society of Rheumatology

The Musculoskeletal Research Facilitation group (known locally as the CAT group) has been awarded an ‘Outstanding Best Practice Award’ from the British Society of Rheumatology (BSR). The group is supported by researchers from the IPCHS1 at Keele University, and uses Critically Appraised Topics (CATs) to identify areas where the evidence behind clinical practice is unknown, to inform the research agenda and implement clinical change. The Chair of the judging panel (Dr Peter Lanyon) for the 2016 Best Practice Awards in Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Health informed us that the CAT group has been selected as an award winner in the category of ...

Guest Blog: Looking back to move forward

by Colin Beevor, Matron and Service Manager, Musculoskeletal OPD ServicesThey say “it’s good to talk” and after the inaugural ARMA Portsmouth Network Meeting, I would agree.Although leading up to the event you are always worried that you will not get the numbers turning out – I’ll say here that planning was the key to success – I shouldn’t have worried. A small number of the ARMA Local network got behind the event, giving their support and assisting with the details. So on the day, Wednesday 3rd February 2016, the ARMA Membership were well represented, with over 60 delegates attending.Our Key ...

BIMM 2016 Course Calendar

The latest diary of coming courses and events from the British Instutute of Musculoskeletal Medicine. Details include the Fluoroscopic Injection course, and the Injection RoadShow. The current BIMM Diary is available to download in PDF form, or alternatively check ARMA’s Events Calendar.

FMA UK work with the European Parliament and European partners

FMA UK is represented on the Board of the European Network of Fibromyalgia Associations (ENFA), a coalition of national fibromyalgia organisations working together to influence change for fibromyalgia patients on the European and national levels. As part of ENFA, a representative of FMA UK attended a meeting in the European Parliament in Brussels of MEPs interest group on ‘‘Brain, Mind and Pain’’ and a meeting of Pain Alliance Europe, a coalition of patient organisations from all European countries, lobbying for legislative changes on European and national levels to improve the quality of life for patients living with chronic pain.During the ...

UK JSLE Cohort Study celebrate 10 year anniversary with an away day

Juvenile onset Systemic Lupus ErythematosusThis year marks the 10th anniversary of the UK JSLE Cohort Study which is led by Professor Michael Beresford at the University of Liverpool, and brings together multi-disciplinary experts from across the country, including different paediatric sub-specialists, adult rheumatologists, scientists, allied health professionals and patient & parent representatives. The Cohort Study has come a long way and has now recruited more than 550 young people from 25 centres throughout the UK.In January the Study Group held an ‘away day’ in Liverpool to bring together patients, doctors, nurses, scientists and researchers involved in the study to reflect ...


ARMA is the alliance 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.