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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

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 ...

Vasculitis Patient Symposium Saturday 18th April 2015

Vasculitis UK is holding its first ever patient symposium in London on 18th April. The event is co-hosted with PMRGCA UK, Lauren Currie Twilight Foundation and the US Vasculitis Foundation. The Patient Symposium has been planned to take advantage of the presence of so many top vasculitis experts in London for the International Vasculitis Medical Conference, which takes place immediately following the patient symposium. We believe that this is the first time such an event has taken place to tie-in with the medical conference. The first International Vasculitis Medical Conference took place in Copenhagen in 1988. Since then, every two years there ...

NASS has moved

The National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society has moved office. Our new details are: NASS 4 Albion Court Hammersmith London W6 0QT Telephone: 020 8741 1515 Our general email address and website remain the same.

Roadmap for Sustainable Healthcare

The Sustainable Healthcare initiative was launched in 2013. It sought to address the environment of demographic change and economic constraints facing European healthcare systems, and to counter solutions which focus purely on cutting headline treatment costs. You can read about the the conference and European Steering Group on Sustainable Healthcare (ESG) and read the full Sustainable Healthcare White paper from Abbvie: "Acting Together: A Roadmap for Sustainable Healthcare".

King's Fund Acute Hospitals and Integrated Care

From hospitals to health systems A core part of the vision in the NHS five year forward view is a fundamentally different role for acute hospitals. Hospitals in England and elsewhere face significant challenges as a result of rising demand and the changing needs of the population, and they will not be able to meet these challenges by continuing to work alone. Instead, acute trust leaders need to embrace a system-wide perspective and work increasingly closely with primary care, community services, social care and others. See the key findings of the report from the King's Fund website.

Arthritis Care Young People and Families

Arthritis Care have recently refocused their services on two proven service areas of 1) Young People and Families and 2) Arthritis Champions. We are currently recruiting to four Young People and Families posts in England to further extend our established services in Northern Ireland and Scotland. In addition, a post in Wales has been refocused on this area of service. We are working with some of the country’s leading paediatric, adolescent and adult rheumatology clinics - our proven support activities align with young people’s clinical interventions and help rebuild confidence, social networks and social skills that can all suffer as ...

Acupuncture PSA and Election White Paper

BAcC featured in Professional Standards Authority report The BAcC were featured as a success story in a report from the Professional Standards Authority about its Accredited Registers programme. BAcC was glad to see endorsements from a wide range of health leaders. See the full report at the professional standards website. Champion acupuncture at the general election The general election is on 7 May. BAcC members are being encouraged to contact local parliamentary candidates about Acupuncture. BAcC has produced a draft “White Paper” for the new Minister of Health to consider after the election.

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 ...

ESCAPE-pain promotes arthritis self-management through exercise and education

ESCAPE-pain (Enabling Self-management and Coping with Arthritic Pain using Exercise) is a rehabilitation programme for people with chronic joint pain, typically knee osteoarthritis. It integrates self-management and coping strategies with a progressive exercise regimen bespoke to each individual. The programme helps people better understand their condition and realise exercise is a safe and effective self-management strategy that can be used to reduce the physical and psychosocial effects of joint pain. Rigorously evaluated in randomised control trials, ESCAPE-pain is endorsed by NICE and also cited as a Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) case study. It has been shown to: improve clinical ...

FibroAction and Fibromyalgia Association UK join forces

FibroAction and Fibromyalgia Association UK (FMA UK) will be working together more closely in the future. The trustees of each charity decided it would be in the best interests of both the charities and the people they serve to combine their expertise, experiences and resources.

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 ...

Putting theory into practice - PIF Conference

How to empower patients through high-quality health information and support 10th Annual Conference for People Working in Patient and Health Information, held by the Patient Information Forum Wednesday 1st July 2015 Venue: The Royal College of Surgeons of England, 35-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PE Website: Words like self-management, patient involvement, shared decision-making and patient-centred care are abundant. With the emphasis firmly on the patient, the need for top-quality consumer health information has never been higher. We know you want to rise to the challenge, and find practical solutions to make your information more usable, accessible and patient-led. So how do you ...

NASS are moving | Members' Day 2015 in York

NASS are moving office. We will be closed from Monday 16 March to Friday 20 March. Our new address will be: 8 Albion Court, Hammersmith W6 0QT 020 8741 1515 NASS Members’ Day is coming up on Saturday 20 June 2015. This year we are holding it in York. NASS | National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society | Members' Day 2015 is heading to York | News Running alongside this annual event are our newly diagnosed evening meetings – AS and You. The next events are in Chester (12 March 2015), Sunderland (23 April 2015) and Portsmouth (7 May 2015).

Vacancy for Youth and Family Services Manager (JIA)

NRAS is seeking to consolidate and build upon 18 months of ground work done by the charity to set up the new children’s service by the appointment of a new Youth and Family Services Manager. The role is hands-on and the Manager will be responsible for the development of a programme of work for children, young people and families affected by JIA as well as a range of activities to support the health professionals who treat JIA, in line with our operational plan for 2015 and beyond. Read more about the role and how to apply on our website. ...

Scleroderma Society’s Rare Disease Day & Digital Ulcer Policy

February 28th was Rare Diseases Day, a day of solidarity for individuals diagnosed with a rare disease. The Scleroderma Society supported this campaign with an article in the Independent focusing on the limitations of living with a rare disease. To view the article click here. Also see our Facebook page.   Digital Ulcer Policy NHS England have completed a policy on the commissioning Sildenafil and Bosentan for the treatment of digital ulceration in systemic sclerosis in accordance with the criteria outlined in the document, which you can read on the Engage England - Policy and Specification Consultations page, or open/download the PDF document ...

Manchester to lead project for better lupus treatment

A grant of over £4m has been awarded by the Medical Research Council to a team of Scientists around the UK led by Professor Ian Bruce, University of Manchester, for a large scale research programme into lupus treatments that will take five years. The study is called MASTERPLANS (MAximising SLE ThERapeutic PotentiaL by Application of Novel and Stratified approaches). Along with Manchester the main centres involved are in Birmingham, Cambridge, Leeds, Bath and London (UCLH/Imperial College/Hammersmith Hospital) and they will also be working with a number of pharmaceutical companies who will be providing a further £6m in cash and kind ...

Endorse Clinical Standards and Guidelines - Fractures & Bone Health

UK’s first Clinical Standards for Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) The National Osteoporosis Society is leading an expert authoring group to develop the UK’s first Clinical Standards for Fracture Liaison Services in collaboration with the British Orthopaedic Association and British Geriatric Society. We are very grateful to everyone who provided feedback during the consultation period. The Authoring Group are now in the process of carefully reviewing the comments submitted and we hope to launch the final Standards shortly. We would like to invite ARMA organisations to endorse the final version of the Clinical Standards. By endorsing the document and permitting the National Osteoporosis Society ...

The BAcC have rebranded / Acupuncture Awareness week launched

British Acupuncture Council The BAcC have rebranded: Acupuncture Awareness week 2015 has launched, with a new survey on stress and a radio day with our celebrity ambassador, Donna Air.   ARMA members are welcome to attend this event for free – please contact Nick Pahl for further information on

BIMM Upcoming Events 2015

The British Institute of Musculoskeletal Medicine Diary 2015 19th March 2015 Monthly MSK Meeting Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine Monthly meetings which consist of two short presentations by invited speakers and a concluding case presentation. “RSI 2015 Where are we now” Dr. M Hutson “The Musicians Shoulder – how awkward” Dr. H Trouli.  25th – 26th April 2015 BIMM Spring Symposium – Time for Reflection: Evidence Informing Practice Hilton Hotel, Nottingham The BIMM Spring Symposium 2015 will give us a fantastic opportunity to hear from leading international figures in the world of musculoskeletal medicine-firstly about dysfunctions and approach pertinent to the ageing population (Heiner Biedermann and Mike ...

Mixed views about progress in latest audit of public health teams

This month the Royal Society for Public Health published its latest report capturing the views of those working in public health within local authorities. “In good health” builds upon research RSPH undertook in 2014 and attempts to provide a snapshot of the public health workforce nearly 2 years since the move to Local Authorities. The findings of RSPH show that embedding public health within Local Authorities has given cause for optimism. There appears to be greater belief that this move will lead to better health outcomes, and public health is working well with other departments. However, we would also ...

Macmillan Influencing Commissioning toolkit

A useful document from Macmillan for anyone who has an interest in how services are planned and commissioned and how the public can be involved in this. Macmillan has facilitated a number of events and developed resources to support facilitators to help the public get involved in influencing commissioning. See and Download Macmillan's Influencing Commissioning manual in their Learnzone.

BackCare's new Chief Exec & Website

BackCare has a new Chief Executive – Stuart Blackman - who brings diverse charity experience following a first career with three leading healthcare companies that included extensive clinical trials work in musculoskeletal disorders, international marketing and project management. Click for full size photo. BackCare launched it’s new website which includes a range of new features to meet the growing demands of BackCare’s stakeholder groups – patients, practitioners, companies, researchers and educators. See BackCare announce the focus of their 2015 awareness week is back pain in school children. One quarter of UK school children suffer from back pain but are not covered ...

PSALV and the new Cross-Party Group

The psoriasis/PsA Cross-Party Group at Holyrood is now subsumed into “Skin and related Rheumatic conditions”; however, we at PSALV continue to campaign on PsA rheumatology matters, being the only peer-led patient group in Scotland with leading NHS Clinicians as advisers. At the first meeting of the new CPG in December 2014, Prof Iain McInnes of Glasgow University, spoke on the subject of psoriatic arthritis. He explained how he believes it is more common than rheumatoid arthritis; and how we need joint clinics all over Scotland to enable the best and equitable treatment for the estimated 23,000 people who have it here. Joint ...

Personalised Care and Support Planning in Practice

Read this blog by Dr. David Paynton, National Clinical Lead for the RCGP Centre for Commissioning, on what care and support planning looks like in practice.

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 ...

NHS England Consults on Investment Prioritisation of Specialist Services and Treatments

NHS England has launched a new consultation about how it will prioritise which specialised services and treatments to invest in. NHS England directly commissions around 145 specialised services. In order to ensure the maximum number of patients benefit from new innovative treatments coming on stream, choices need to be made about which of these to fund. In carrying out a public consultation, NHS England will ensure the principles and process for making these decisions are well informed, evidence-led and in line with the expectations of patients and the public. The consultation will last for 90 days from 27 January 2015. Patients and ...

BIMM Upcoming Events 2015

The British Institute of Musculoskeletal Medicine Upcoming Events 2015 Module 8 – Occupational Medicine, Exercise Prescription, Integrated Approach 21st – 23rd Feb 2015 LCOM Boston Place London NW1 6QH The last module focuses on two important issues; the obstacles to patients returning to work and the various methods of rehabilitation. Psychosocial and other factors influencing sickness absence (the ‘black flags’) will be explored with occupational health experts. The role of vocational counselling, functional rehabilitation and the clinician’s role in liaison with all the relevant members of the team will be emphasised. This final module will concentrate on integrating all the facets of the course ...

Orthopaedics Conference: Call for Abstracts

The Craft of Orthopaedics: RCN Society of Orthopaedic and Trauma Nursing 28th international conference and exhibition 10/09/2015 – 11/09/2015 9.00–17.30 and 08.30–16.30 Nottingham Conference Centre, Burton Street, Nottingham, NG1 4BU The 28th Annual Conference of the RCN Society of Orthopaedic and Trauma Nursing will take place on 10th – 11th September 2015 at Nottingham Conference Centre. This conference will focus on the latest developments in orthopaedic practice, as well as explore the specialist knowledge and complex practical skills demanded in this field. This conference is for all nurses and health care professionals working in this field including occupational therapists and physiotherapists. Call for Abstracts Calling all orthopaedic and ...

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.



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