September 2013

Director's Update

Dear all,

To me, it seems like September has been largely taken up with planning for what is going to be ARMA’s big event this year, which will take place in November: MSK 2013, a one-day seminar for commissioners, providers and decision-makers in MSK healthcare, which we are running in the context of our MSK clinical networks project and in partnership with Prof. Peter Kay. The seminar will be followed by an evening lecture which will be delivered by Prof. Kay alongside two other National Clinical Directors (Prof. Chris Moran and Prof. Charles Greenough): invitations for this will be going out soon. This is the first event of its kind for MSK, and promises to be very cutting edge. Clearly though, it also involves a lot of preparation.

October is always a busy month, and this year the MSK calendar is bursting with activity. First up is the BSR’s Simple Tasks campaign, launching on 3 October  – if you read this in time, please sign up to their Thunderclap (see below), and help support the cause.

The BOA and the CSP are also both running their annual Congress this month, where I will be presenting on ARMA’s clinical networks project, alongside the MSK National Clinical Director and the BOA President at the former. I will also be attending the NHS England’s Future of Health Conference on 3 October.

As many of you are aware, 12-20 October is Bone and Joint Action Week. The Bone & Joint Decade - the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health - gives an overarching theme for the week, which is "Keep People Moving". The week kicks off with World Arthritis Day on 12th October, whose specific focus this year is on “Living Better, Ageing Well” – read more about this below, and please do encourage your members and stakeholders to take part in the Vision 2043 competition. This is followed by World Spine Day on 16 October, and concludes with World Osteoporosis Day on 20 Oct – which you can read more about from the NOS below.

An important date for all ARMA members’ diaries is Thursday 17 October, which is the ARMA AGM and Representatives’ Forum. This will take place at St Brides Foundation from 13:15-16:30, with lunch from 12:30. This year, in addition to welcoming 5 new trustees to the ARMA Board at the AGM, we are very fortunate to have Dr. Partha Kar as our external speaker, who will explain his innovative Super Six model to us. Dr. Kar is a bona fide thought leader in his field (my words not his!), and I’m sure those of you who are familiar with his work will agree that there is much that MSK can also learn from his experience of redesigning diabetes care. I look forward to seeing many of you there.

Best Wishes,

Policy Items

Parliamentary Motions

Parliamentary Reception: Wednesday 9th October

Arthritis Research UK is holding a Parliamentary reception on Wednesday 9th October, 1-3pm, Dining Room A, as part of their National Arthritis Week activity, in the lead up to World Arthritis Day on Saturday 12th October. All ARMA members are very warmly welcome to join us. Please contact Matthew Rowbotham.


Early Day Motion 499: National Arthritis Week

Andy Sawford, MP for Corby, has tabled an Early Day Motion (below) with cross-party support to raise awareness of the burden of arthritis, and five recommendations aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of people with musculoskeletal conditions.

It would be hugely appreciated if ARMA members could pass this on to any MPs you work with and encourage them to support it:

This House welcomes Arthritis Research UK’s National Arthritis Week from 7th- 13th October 2013; recognises the substantial impact that arthritis and musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions including back pain and osteoporosis have on people’s daily lives; acknowledges that musculoskeletal conditions affect over 10 million people and account for the largest proportion of years lived with disability in the UK; welcomes Arthritis Research UK’s ‘Understanding arthritis’ report with its five recommendations to improve the health and wellbeing of people with these conditions, namely ensuring NHS England fulfil their NHS Mandate objective to offer everyone with a long term condition a care plan; for MSK conditions to be included within Public Health England’s three year set of priorities; ensuring there is a Fracture Liaison Service linked to every hospital involved in the care of people with fragility fractures; NHS England prioritising data collection of patients’ conditions and treatments in data poor areas such as Rheumatology and Orthopaedic outpatient appointments; and encouraging GPs to routinely ask people with MSK conditions if they experience depression and anxiety.


New data projects awarded

Arthritis Research UK has awarded grants for two data protects, the M-PROM and MSK calculator. You can read more information on patient-reported outcome measures and the musculoskeletal calculator from the site.

DoH Include BSR’s RA Audit in Quality Accounts

Department of Health quality accounts to include rheumatoid and early inflammatory arthritis audit

The British Society for Rheumatology have welcomed the news that their national clinical audit for rheumatoid and early inflammatory arthritis has been chosen for inclusion on the list of audits used in the Department of Health's quality accounts. This highlights the importance with which rheumatology services are viewed by the Department of Health. In addition, it will empower rheumatology units to actively engage with audit departments for support and guidance as you deliver the audit. For more information, please contact Paula Beare, the project director.


BSR Commissioning Seminar

This seminar run by the British Society for Rheumatology as part of the Rheumatology Commissioning Support Alliance took place on Friday 6 September and hosted participants from 31 organisations.

The main recommendations resulting from the day were that:

  • National patient advisers should sit alongside national clinical directors, and
  • Patient commissioner roles should be created.

The discussions are currently being written up and the papers will be sent to all attendees and made available on the BSR website.


Simple Tasks to launch 3rd October

The Simple Tasks campaign kicks off on 3rd October, run by the British Society for Rheumatology to raise the profile of rheumatic conditions and the professionals who treat them. If you haven’t yet done so, please sign up to the Thunderclap (a thunderclap is a crowd-speaking platform that allows social media users to support causes as part of a mass of people) and like the campaign’s Facebook page.


Do you have any photos we could use?

Send in a photograph to the BSR and you could win John Lewis vouchers and the chance to showcase your work on our next membership campaign.

The competition is open to anyone with an interest in rheumatology. Please send photographs in the following four categories:

  • Rheumatology as a science
  • Rheumatologists help patients
  • Rheumatology professionals never stop learning
  • The Rheumatology team

Each category winner gets a £30 John Lewis gift voucher, and there will be £10 awards for highly commended photos. For more information, please see BSR's terms page.

Read online.

Members' News and

Stop at One

Stop at One

STOP AT ONE is a public-facing campaign to be launched in October 2013 by the National Osteoporosis Society to encourage anyone over 50 who has broken a bone and not been assessed by a Fracture Liaison Service / Health Professional to have a bone check and find out if they are at risk of osteoporosis. This nation-wide media and advertising campaign will focus around World Osteoporosis Day (20 October).

NOS have provided a leaflet and media information in the form of powerpoint slides. Click here to view and download.

Osteoporosis should be picked up after the first bone break so get checked out and avoid more breaks: STOP AT ONE

Osteopaths support National BackCare Awareness Week

Osteopaths support National BackCare Awareness Week

The British Osteopathic Association, which represents the majority of registered osteopaths, is supporting National BackCare Awareness Week (7 – 11 October). The theme of this year’s event is ‘caring for carers’ and the BOA is issuing advice for carers to help them protect their backs.

Osteopaths can provide rapid, drug free, relief from pain caused by the types of stresses that carers often subject their back to when caring for others. Of the UK’s 6.5m unpaid carers more than 80% said that their physical health had been affected by their caring responsibilities and 70% now suffer with back pain and are at a greater risk of developing chronic pain. As holistic therapists, osteopaths deliver a combination of manual therapy and advice for carers on how to prevent injury through exercise, good technique and a healthy lifestyle. Osteopathy is now available on the NHS in some areas.

Osteopath Kelston Chorley, BOA member, gives the following advice for carers to help them look after their backs.

  • Think before you help someone - don't risk a disc by lifting or manoeuvring someone on your own if they are too big for you
  • Never twist and bend your back when lifting an object or helping to support someone
  • When lifting keep the person or object close to you and always bend from the hips and knees
  • Avoid straining yourself when providing aid for someone, always ensure you are in a safe and good position to help that person - look after yourself first so you can look after them 
  • If you are looking after someone on a regular basis and this requires lifting or handling, try to find some changes you could make which reduce the physical stress
  • Pace yourself with your activity, its usually when we rush things that we tend to hurt ourselves
  • Take regular exercise yourself so you are fit and able to help others 

Throughout the week individual osteopaths will be providing talks, demonstrations and special offers for carers. To find out more visit

BIMM MSK training modules

BIMM MSK training modules

At the recent British Institute of Musculoskeletal Medicine AGM our hereto ‘doctors only’ organisation voted in favour of introducing an Associate membership category to physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors and indeed all AHPs who practice as part of the MSK team.

Subsequently our Education Committee together with the Diploma MSK Examination Board agreed to open our Modular Course for doctors to all registered professions working in the MSK field and to make the Diploma examination the recommended exit Exam for this.

Recognising the growing demand for injection training from physios and osteopaths in particular, BIMM are developing a 3 day Joint and Soft tissue training Module to supplement the existing highly successful Injection Roadshow.

The August issue of “Commissioning Excellence”, produced in collaboration with PCC and NHS networks, published some interesting results from 17 Hastings and Rother GPs who collected data on their pre- and 6 months post- injection Roadshow referral rate for injections. They avoided 226 referrals and administered some 266 MSK injections thereby saving an estimated £100,000 per year per group of 20 or so GPs.

Lupus Interview Video and Education

Lupus Interview Video and Education

On 1st October, as part of Lupus Awareness Month, LUPUS UK’s new video will be available to watch on Youtube and the home page at It is the second video in the short series and features people with lupus discussing how they explain their condition to friends, family and others.

LUPUS UK have recently made an education document available which is aimed at teachers in schools and colleges to help them understand the difficulties young people with lupus can have and what they can do to help make things easier.

The document is available to download here. Work is currently underway on a similar document for university lecturers to help young people with lupus going into higher education.

The PCR Society Annual Conference

The PCR Society Annual Conference

From Thursday, 21st of November 2013, 12:30pm
to Saturday, 23rd of November 2013, ending with lunch 12:00pm.

For more information including the full programme and application form please visit the Primary Care Rheumatology Society website:

NASS Best Practice Finalists

NASS Best Practice Finalists

NASS would like to report that they are finalists in the BSR Best Practice Service Award for their Back Pain Seminar Initiative which was launched as a Meeting-in-a-Box at the British Society of Rheumatology (BSR) Conference in Birmingham in April 2013.

All the materials for the GP Awareness Back Pain Seminar are included on a CD-Rom. These can then be used or adapted by rheumatologists around the UK to run the seminar in their local area.

So far NASS have given away over 200 copies of the CD and it has even gone international!

Portsmouth Autumn-Winter Rheumatology Newsletter

Portsmouth Autumn-Winter Rheumatology Newsletter

The new edition of the Portsmouth Rheumatology Patient and Public newsletter is now available. It is provided by the Portsmouth Hospitals and the NHS Trust.

Contents include:
Preview of the "DaM it Arthritis" meeting for Dads and Mums with Arthritis; Details of Local Group meetings; New Information Booklet from NASS; A map guide to the hospital's Department of Rheumatology and meetings of the MSK Patient Experience Group.

News of Chief Exec and Beds CCG

Arthritis Care’s new Chief Exec is now in post

Judi Rhys, the new Chief Executive for Arthritis Care, started work on 23th August. Judi is already getting out and about, and will be attending the ARUK’s National Arthritis Week 2013 parliamentary reception on 9th October 2013.


Circle named preferred bidder for landmark MSK contract

Circle Holdings Limited has won preferred bidder status for the landmark Prime Contractor MSK integrated service in Bedfordshire.

The 5 year contract - which includes a partnership of Pennine MSK, the developer of the original, and currently only, integrated model of MSK services, in Oldham - is the first of its kind in the country and is focused on improving care for Bedfordshire’s 440,000 patients.

The bid means that MSK services within Bedfordshire CCG, which were previously handled by more than 20 separate contracts, will now be organised by one Prime Contractor, Circle.

Negotiation between both parties over the detailed terms of the proposal will now commence.
Circle will be leading the partnership including:

  • Pennine MSK Partnership,
  • Horizon Health Choices, a local healthcare provider of a range of NHS services, including MSK, in a variety of community settings across Bedfordshire
  • Arthritis Care and NRAS, the leading local and national patient charities.
  • Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, a local NHS Foundation Trust and provider of secondary care and community services who will be working with Circle to develop the model of care in Bedfordshire.
Lupus Interview Video and Education

Lupus Interview Video and Education

On 1st October, as part of Lupus Awareness Month, LUPUS UK’s new video will be available to watch on Youtube and the home page at It is the second video in the short series and features people with lupus discussing how they explain their condition to friends, family and others.

LUPUS UK have recently made an education document available which is aimed at teachers in schools and colleges to help them understand the difficulties young people with lupus can have and what they can do to help make things easier.

The document is available to download here. Work is currently underway on a similar document for university lecturers to help young people with lupus going into higher education.

New Name: Myositis UK

New Name: Myositis UK

The Myositis Support Group changed its charity name to Myositis UK at its AGM in July and was approved by the Charities Commission. The name change is to reflect the charity’s broader activities (including funding research) and national standing, although it remains a small charity because the inflammatory myopathies dermatomyositis, polymyositis, juvenile dermatomyositis and inclusion body myositis conditions are rare.

The charity celebrated its 25th year as a registered charity with a Gala Dinner for members and doctors. It was felt that now would be a good time to modernise the charity name to Myositis UK which would also make available the term “support group” to be taken as a title by future regional member groups within the charity.


NRAS: Are you Feeling Lucky?

We have recently launched the NRAS lottery which will help provide a vital and regular source of income to support those living with RA in the UK and give you the chance to win £25,000 each week!

Sign up today via our page on the Unity Lottery website!

Alternatively, call us on 01628 501547 and we can send you a leaflet with the application form. If you would like any information regarding the lottery, you can get in touch with us at  

Good luck!

Hot Off the Press!

The autumn edition of the NRAS magazine is arriving on doorstops around the country as we speak.  If you have not yet joined our free Health Care Professional membership and want to receive your copy, sign up today! Simply email or call 0845 458 3969.

Christmas is coming!

Now autumn is drawing in, we should mention that our Christmas Cards are now available to buy and this year postage is free! We have a great new range which you can order from our website.

Alternatively you can call the office on 01628 501547 to order over the phone or request an order form.

Hypermobility Syndromes Association Announcements Sept-Oct

Hypermobility Syndromes Association Announcements Sept-Oct

New HMSA Trustees

The HMSA is pleased to announce the recruitment of three new Trustees to the Board.
Dr Alan Hakim (Chief Medical Advisor to the HMSA), Rob Smith (Fundraising Events Manager) and Donna Wicks (Senior Medical Liaison Officer) are all actively involved in the charity in their current roles.

We believe that their appointments will allow the charity to continue to work hard at developing recognition, services and support for all people with a heritable connective tissue disorder (HCTD). All our Trustees work closely with the staff, volunteers and, most importantly, our members in the charity. They are each responsible for one section of our charity’s work. Contact for more information.


HMSA Pain-UK Membership

We are also pleased to announce that the charity is now a member of the Pain UK alliance and we look forward to working closely with this umbrella organisation on its first anniversary, and with ARMA to represent people with HCTDs.


Family Programme and Big Bash Events

Due to the success of our pilot programme and the high demand we will be running the programme again in Wakefield, Yorkshire on the 26th October.

The HMSA’s Big Bash will also be running at the same time and in the same venue. Professor Bird will be present to speak to us about the diagnosis and management of all the hypermobility syndromes, including Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes (all sub-types), Marfan syndrome etc.

HMSA staff will be facilitating the day which includes pain management, pacing, exercise and the benefits of using our local network of trained support group leaders. Jenny Parris, Education Development Coordinator will be addressing the needs of children in regards to educational settings. Please contact for information.

Additional Family Programme dates have been announced on the HMSA website.

HMSA Volunteer Recruitment 2013

The Hypermobility Syndromes Association is actively recruiting volunteers in a variety of roles, including helpline volunteers, group leaders, fundraising, social media etc.

Successful applicants will be integrated into our Volunteer Programme and offered annual training with access to regular supervision.

The HMSA is proud of the quality of the volunteers we currently have working with us and to assist in developing new skills for people who wish to volunteer and have never done so before. Contact


Job opportunity at Arthritis Research UK

Job opportunity at Arthritis Research UK

Arthritis Research UK is advertising for a Public Affairs Manager. The closing date is 14 October 2013.Further information is available at or please contact

Vacancy at Arthritis Care

Vacancy at Arthritis Care

Arthritis Care is now recruiting for a Director of Corporate Services.

Please see the Guardian Jobs website for further details.

Please feel free to pass on this advert to your family/friends should they be interested in the role.


Two Weeks to World Arthritis Day

Less Than 2 Weeks to World Arthritis Day

Saturday, 12th October 2013

EULAR PARE's theme for 2013 – 2014 is Healthy Ageing: growing up and growing older with a rheumatic or musculoskeletal disease. The slogan for this campaign is: "Living Better, ageing well."

On the WAD website you can find a guidelines and a graphic toolkit under the “Tools for You / For organisations” section. You can use the graphics to create your own promotional materials.

EULAR has launched two major activities on the WAD website as part of the Healthy Ageing campaign: Get Active! and Self –management and Motivation.

Get Active! features seven different types of physical activity suitable for people with RMDs and a guide to physical activity and exercise. The guide and factsheets for each activity are available on the web for download in English with artwork and design templates for organisations to adapt and translate their own versions.

The first of the Healthy Living topics, which go live in phases, was Physical Activity and Exercise. The second topic, Self Management and Motivation, has just gone live – check it out!

Read online.

Vision 2043 Competition - EULAR

Vision 2043 Competition - EULAR

The Vision 2043 competition invites people from around the world to enter an innovation, design or idea that can transform the lives of people with Rheumatic Musculoskeletal Disorders now and in the future.

Please help EULAR promote this competition to encourage as many entries as possible. You can adapt, edit and translate the details below to promote the competition on your website, in your newsletters and via your social media networks.

The Competition launches on the World Arthritis Day website on
12th October 2013

EULAR are looking for practical and visionary ideas and innovations that will help create a more inclusive world now and in the future. As well as examples of existing ideas and innovations that make life easier for people with RMDs, original ideas and visions for the future can also be entered.

Anyone over 18 years of age can enter the Vision 2043 competition by taking a photograph, creating a conventional or digital artwork, shooting a video or recording a soundtrack that shows the idea, innovation, design or grand plan they think could transform the lives of people with RMDs. Images, videos and soundtracks must be accompanied by a short summary of the entry written in English.

Competition Winners

  • The Global online winner will receive €300 (Euros) or equivalent
  •   EULAR member-country online winner will also receive €300 (Euros) or equivalent and the
        opportunity to attend the 2014 EULAR Autumn Conference for people with Arthritis and
        Rheumatism in Europe (PARE), which will take place in Zagreb, Croatia in November 2014.
  •   Two runners-up will each receive a cash prize of €50 (Euros) or equivalent.

Additionally, up to seven entries will be chosen by the Vision 2043 jury.  EULAR will use entries to the completion to promote activities that will support people with RMDs.

It’s easy to enter!

  • Develop your idea and create your artwork.
  • Write a short statement in English about how your entry will help improve the lives of people with RMDs.
  • Take a photograph of original artworks.
  • Login onto the World Arthritis Day website and upload your photo, video or soundtrack into the Vision 2043 gallery.


The Vision 2043 competition launches on World Arthritis Day, Saturday, 12 October 2013 and will close on Friday, 25 April 2014. Judging will take place in May 2014 and the winners will be announced in June 2014.

For more information please do not hesitate to contact Your World Arthritis Day Team.

ARMA Calendar

RCGP Annual Conference                                                      3rd-5th October
BSR Autumn Conference, Edinburgh ICC                        3rd-4th October
Future of Health Conference, London                                3rd-4th October
ARMA CEO Meeting                                                                 10th October
CSP Conference                                                                         11th-12th October
ARMA Board Meeting                                                             17th October
ARMA Annual General Meeting                                          17th October
World Osteoporosis Day                                                          20th October
PCRS Conference                                                                       21-22 November
NHS Alliance                                                                             27-28 November

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