CEO's Update

Dear all,

As expected, it’s been a busy October!

My month began with a presentation on ARMA’s clinical networks project at the BOA’s Annual Congress, flanked by the BOA President and the MSK National Clinical Director (NCD), followed the week after (in the very same room, in fact) by a presentation to the CSP Annual Congress. I also attended NHS England’s Future of Health conference, where, among other things, National Voices launched their Principles of Care and Support Planning and  Alan Nye (GP, PCRS President and ARMA trustee) presented compelling evidence on improving patient outcomes and reducing costs through a shared decision-making approach to knee replacement surgery. The event had a very strong emphasis on patient empowerment; in fact one of the most memorable quotes from the day for me was the following: the patient is the pilot, and the health professional is the navigator [of care].

The past month has also seen many ARMA members organising activities and hosting events throughout National Arthritis Week and Bone and Joint Action Week. Highlights include a very well-attended parliamentary reception organised by Arthritis Research UK and two campaign launches: the BSR’s Simple Tasks campaign and NOS’ Stop at One campaign. It is perhaps significant that while each of these initiatives raises much-needed awareness about distinct forms of MSK disorders, they share several key messages. Additionally, as Arthritis Research UK’s publication of new data on osteoarthritis highlights, it is increasingly important to view the challenge presented by an aeging population in particular not just through the lens of tackling musculoskeletal disorders, but that of improving musculoskeletal health.

At our AGM on 17 October, ARMA reflected on a successful 2012 and welcomed 5 new trustees to the Board - including our new Chair, Phil Gray, who is currently CEO of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy - and thanked the retiring Trustees for their many years of service. We were also delighted to have Dr. Partha Kar as our keynote speaker in the Representatives’ Forum. Dr. Kar has already spoken far and wide about his groundbreaking work in Portsmouth, and his thought-provoking presentation on the Super Six model of integrated diabetes care gave rise to a stimulating discussion afterwards about what lessons our community could learn from this model for MSK. If you were unable to attend, I encourage you to spare twenty minutes to listen to his presentation. Key points from the ensuing discussion will be shared with ARMA members in due course.

Ahead of us now lies an equally busy November, whose highlight for ARMA will no doubt be MSK 2013 – our one-day seminar on delivering integrated MSK care via the development of MSK clinical networks in particular, conducted in partnership with the MSK NCD – and the annual ARMA lecture that same evening. We will of course capture everything from both these events and disseminate the key points accordingly.

Finally, you will notice that this month we are starting the practice of including polls on topical issues in our newsletter, suggested by ARMA members – this month’s poll is from the British Acupuncture Council. Please take a moment to respond, and please suggest any other poll topics for ARMA newsletters via the usual email channels. Do also let us know if you would be interested in providing a “guest blog” for our newsletter.

Onwards and upwards…!
Yours sincerely,

Policy Items

Delivering Integrated Care: What can MSK learn from diabetes?

Delivering Integrated Care: What can MSK learn from diabetes?

As part of this year's ARMA AGM, our guest lecturer was Dr Partha Kar, Clinical Director of Diabetes at Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust since 2009, and pioneer of the award-winning Super Six model.

One of his main areas of passion is improving patient outcomes through the redesign of diabetes care to be more integrated over primary and secondary care.

He spoke to us about the Super Six model and how he has gone about redesigning diabetes care in Portsmouth: managing CCGs, targets and reviews, the tendering process, policies, and affecting changes. There is a lot that we in MSK and Rheumatology can learn from the Diabetes experience, and from Dr Kar's experience in particular, and obviously it's extremely relevant to our own Clinical Networks project.

The attached video (24 minutes) combines the audio from Dr Kar's talk with the slides from his presentation. Based upon a lecture he presented to government, the talk is titled Integration: the proverbial unicorn, or not?  Click here to view or download it from our website.

Independent prescribing by physiotherapists

Independent prescribing by physiotherapists

Help make this a reality

After years of campaigning by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, on 20 August 2013 the right of physiotherapists in England to prescribe medicines for their patients came into law. This is a world first, and an important step that has the potential to significantly reduce bureaucracy and improve patient care.

For many MSK patients it means that they can be prescribed the medicines they need from the professional who is leading their care, rather than having to be referred back to the GP to wait for an appointment that they don’t need.

Now that the law is in place, training courses need to be developed for physiotherapists wishing to become independent prescribers, and for services to be designed that makes the most of this expansion of role. Furthermore, in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales the devolved administrations need to bring forward secondary legislation to introduce independent prescribing by physios across the UK.

The CSP is asking all MPs to sign Early Day Motion 588 to welcome this step, and to help ensure that all communities across the UK benefit from it.

Please help us raise awareness of this important change and encourage MPs to sign Early Day Motion 588. For more information, please read the CSP's briefing and definition of independent prescribing.

Arthritis Research UK celebrated National Arthritis Week

Arthritis Research UK celebrated National Arthritis Week

Activity during the week of 7-13 October included:

Arthritis Research UK held a parliamentary reception on 9 October to celebrate National Arthritis Week in the lead up to World Arthritis Day. Over 45 parliamentarians came along to show their support – and thank you to all ARMA members who joined us on the day.

  • Early Day Motion 499: National Arthritis Week

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

The EDM currently has 44 signatories – it would be greatly appreciated if members could pass details on to any MPs you work with and encourage them to lend their support.

  • National Arthritis Survey

We want to hear people’s experiences of living with a musculoskeletal condition and how it affects their daily life and work. The results will help us build a more complete picture of how people are affected by a musculoskeletal condition, identify where change is most needed and help shape our future research.

The online survey closes on 29 November – please could you encourage people to respond.

  • Support from party leaders

We were delighted to receive the support of Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband for National Arthritis Week.


New report: Osteoarthritis in general practice

Arthritis Research UK recently published a report on osteoarthritis in general practice which presents new data on the national burden of osteoarthritis. You can contact Laura Boothman with any queries.

Rheumatology Best Practice Awards announced

Rheumatology Best Practice Awards announced

The British Society for Rheumatology is delighted to announce that the Best Practice Rheumatology Awards 2013 have been given to teams across the UK, including Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust, University Hospital Southampton and Trafford General Hospital.

Health economists were part of the teams of patients and clinicians that visited the shortlisted sites to produce evidence of improved services to patients. Currently a lack of national data means commissioners and policymakers need support in order to make informed decisions on rheumatoid conditions. The Best Practice Rheumatology Awards aim to help provide evidence-based outcomes and costing to assist commissioners and policymakers in their decisions. This will ensure service specifications are based on examples of best practice.

The awards were decided by an expert judging panel, which included world experts in rheumatology, patient representatives from the UK and Europe, the British Orthopaedic Association, and the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE). They considered examples of integrated care pathways, continuous quality improvement, community services, multidisciplinary working and care coordination mapped to accepted commissioning priorities.

Outstanding submissions included that of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital. Their continuous quality improvement and treat to target pathway has saved £1m per year. By using the pathway and an electronic database, the team helped to prevent irreversible disability for patients, because of early diagnosis and early treatment.

Read full details of winners and analysis online.

Please vote online - What Blocks Good Care?

Please vote - What Blocks Good Care?

In our first online poll, with a question designed by one of our members, we aim to gather your responses upon the issue of improving private MSK care. Which problems do you see as the main blocks to progress?

Vote online.

Members' News and

Physiotherapist lead gets top CSP job

Physiotherapist lead gets top CSP job

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy has confirmed the appointment of Karen Middleton as the CSP’s next chief executive.

Ms Middleton is currently the chief allied health professions officer at NHS England. She will be the first chief executive at the society who is a physiotherapist and will be its first woman chief executive. Ms Middleton will succeed Phil Gray, who retires at the end of January 2014 after 15 years as chief executive. During his time, CSP membership has grown rapidly to 51,000.

CSP Council chair Dr Helena Johnson, said: ‘I am delighted Karen will be joining the CSP next year. She has had a hugely positive impact on physiotherapy in her current role. She brings great experience of health policy and leadership. We look forward to working with Karen to deliver the ambitious strategy which we have set out for the society.’

Ms Middleton said: ‘I am delighted and honoured to accept the position of CEO of the CSP. I look forward to building on the significant achievements of Phil Gray.’

Ms Middleton will join the CSP staff in early February 2014.

Visit the CSP website for more physiotherapy news.

Starting STOP AT ONE

Starting STOP AT ONE

The National Osteoporosis Society are launched their STOP AT ONE campaign in October and have provided a publicity toolkit that outlines their aims and avenues for spreading their messages.

You can download this resource here; it has been created to provide the tools, ideas and guidance to make it easy to get involved with the campaign.

Osteoporosis should be picked up after the first bone break, so help us to get more people checked out to avoid more breaks.

Risk of heart attack and stroke doubles for patients with gout

Risk of heart attack and stroke doubles for patients with gout

New research published in this month’s Rheumatology journal has found that having gout doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke. The research tracked the health of more than 205,000 gout patients using data spanning five decades to determine links between gout and heart attack and stroke.

The findings showed that gout patients are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke as those without gout. It is thought that the higher levels of uric acid which cause gout are also a strong risk factor for heart attack and stroke.

Conducted by scientists at the University of Oxford, the research used data from NHS England and the Office for National Statistics. Two sets of data for gout patients between 1963 and 2011 were used to track patients’ health and to determine the link between gout and heart attack and stroke in England.

These new findings highlight the need to address co-morbidities and include preventative measures within gout treatment to reduce heart attacks and stroke in gout patients.

Read more analysis online.

BSR and BHPR prizes and bursaries

Apply for BSR and BHPR awards simply by submitting your abstract for Rheumatology 2014.

The awards recognise outstanding achievements in rheumatology by researchers, scientists, medical students, allied health professionals and consultants.
Entering your abstract gives you the opportunity to share your outstanding achievements and present research that could have a significant impact on the practice of rheumatology, including:

  • Championing the success of your unit or team,
  • Sharing your ideas with an engaged audience of professional peers.

Winners can also:

  • ​Raise the profile of their research internationally by having it published in high-ranking journal Rheumatology,
  • Gain recognition from experts in the field by having their research peer reviewed.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 15 November 2013. Applying is simple, just select an award to apply for at the end of submitting your abstract.

Read a full press release about the awards here from the Rheumatology website.

FiT October Newsletter

FiT October Newsletter

Dawn Weller, Group Co-ordinator, has put together an update from the last meeting of West Kent's Arthritis Support Group.

The October newsletter provides local details as well as wider events and dates in association with, including an item on Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments (PIP) and Motability Support.

The Fibromyalgia in Tonbridge Support Group has a library of books DVDs CDs and information on Fibromyalgia. There are also articles on nutrition advice and sleep hygiene to help counter the "fibrofog" symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia Syndrome.

Acupuncture Symposium and Awareness Week

Acupuncture Symposium and Awareness Week

Acupuncture Research Resource Centre Symposium 2014

Sat 29 March 2014
Venue: Kings College, The Strand, London.

Keynote speakers:

  • Arya Neilsen – Acupuncture Fellowship Program director, Beth Israel Hospital, New York
  • Dr Hugh MacPherson – Acupuncture for patients with depression and, for many, chronic pain

We are still looking for one or two presentations on research in this area. Contact Mark Bovey at

Acupuncture Awareness week – 3-10th March 2014.

Focus will be on musculoskeletal issues.


The British Acupuncture Council would like to announce that they have a new patron – Anne Milton, MP.

Health Minister praises Arthritis Care

Health Minister praises Arthritis Care

Arthritis Care Northern Ireland recently held their annual Health Professional Lecture.
This year our lecture focussed on osteoarthritis.

Health Minister Edwin Poots spoke at the event and praised the dedication and commitment of Arthritis Care NI, saying:

"The achievements and contribution of Arthritis Care promoting research, improving awareness and providing counselling and advice are to be publicly applauded.  The key lecture on the growing number of people with osteoarthritis and how the condition is impacted by obesity and unhealthy lifestyles was particularly useful in highlighting the pressure it puts on our health service, and particularly in primary care."

Mind your Posture – Carers, Care for your Backs

Mind your Posture – Carers, Care for your Backs

The British Chiropractic Association, which represents the majority of registered chiropractors, was once again pleased to support BackCare Awareness Week (7 - 11 October 2013).

The theme is "caring for carers," and the BCA is issuing the attached Press Statement which offers advice and simple tips for carers to help them while they’re helping others.

Cambridge lupus information day

Cambridge lupus information day

On October 12th 2013, as part of Lupus Awareness Month, LUPUS UK hosted a lupus information day in Cambridge. Over 260 people came from Cambridge and the surrounding counties for presentations on a variety of ‘lupus subjects’.

The guest speakers and presentations included -

  • “Current and future treatments for lupus” - Dr David Jayne (Head of Vasculitis & SLE Service)
  • “Lupus associated conditions - Raynaud’s and Sjögren’s?” - Dr Frances Hall (Consultant in Rheumatology)
  •  “Lupus, the skin and hair” - Dr Abby Macbeth (Research Fellow in Dermatology)
  • “Making the most of your energy and managing stress” - Julie Burkin (Occupational Therapist)
  • “Benefits and Pitfalls of exercise and nutrition” - Wadge Grzelak (Sports Scientist)
  • “The role/benefits of a lupus specialist nurse” - Jane Hollis (including patient speakers - Hena Begum & Katie Sadler)

A full write up and video footage of the presentations will be available for those who weren’t able to attend. Keep an eye on to see them.

Spotlight On...

Build the House of Care

Build the House of Care

The ‘House of Care’ is a co-ordinated service delivery model described in a new paper co-authored by National Voices trustee Angela Coulter, Sue Roberts, and Anna Dixon: “Delivering Better Services for People with long-term Conditions.”

Available on The King’s Fund website, the publication “aims to deliver proactive, holistic and patient-centred care for people with long-term conditions.”

The model differs from others in two important ways: it encompasses all people with long-term conditions (not just those with a single disease or in high-risk groups) and it assumes an active role for patients, with collaborative personalised care planning at its heart.

Health Literacy Survey

Health Literacy Survey

The Patient Information Forum (PiF) has published the results from a survey of voluntary sector organisations, NHS organisations and commercial companies, all of whom produce and provide health information.

The survey found that only 10 per cent had a health literacy strategy or health literacy policy despite more than 90 per cent viewing it as important for the public.

You can download the PiF Health Literacy Report from the ARMA site, and visit the Pif website to read more analysis of the report.

Sarah Smith, Operations Director, PiF said: “Our survey highlights the need for better support, training and guidance for organisations producing healthcare information.”

ARMA Calendar

British Osteopathic Association AGM and Conference    8th November 2013
PARE Conference                                                                        15th November 2013
PCRS Annual Conference                                                         21-22 November 2013
NHS Alliance                                                                               27-28 November 2013
Policy Leads and Gold Stakeholder meeting                       5th December
ARMA CEO Meeting                                                                   22nd January 2014
ARMA Board Meeting                                                                30th January 2014
Acupuncture Awareness Week 2014                                   3-10 March 2014
Acupuncture Research Resource Centre Symposium     29th March 2014
ARMA CEO Meeting at Arthritis Care                                 1st April 2014
ARMA Board Meeting                                                               24th April 2014

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