March 2014

CEO's Update

Dear all,

As the General Election in 2015 draws steadily closer, and the political parties prepare their manifestos, we will no doubt be hearing more about each party’s vision for health and social care, against a backdrop of growing demand and economic austerity. It is in fact interesting, though perhaps not entirely surprising, to see how little difference there actually is in their respective positions, if the exchanges between Andy Burnham and Stephen Dorrell at National Voices’ recent annual conference - which prompted the discussion Chair to highlight the risk of violent agreement - are anything to go by. “Coordinated, person-centred care” is perhaps the phrase which most encapsulates this “violent agreement”, and indeed it is a principle which underpins both NHS England’s House of Care model and the entirety of Domain 2 (Long-term conditions). “Integration”, “prevention”, “self-management” and “patient empowerment” are also terms which we hear very frequently from both government and many parts of the health service itself, and rightly so. The King’s Fund latest publication, looking at accountable care organisations in the USA, also comes to some familiar conclusions. So it would seem that in terms of overall strategic priorities, there is little to disagree about - certainly as relates to long-term conditions, in any event. And hopefully, we are seeing some signs that MSK disorders are increasingly being recognised as an important aspect of tackling the big challenges facing our healthcare system, not least from a public health perspective.

Where the challenges come into sharper focus is around issues such as health inequalities and equitable access to care; genuinely involving patients and the voluntary sector….and funding, which continues to be a vexed issue. If the restructuring in the NHS in England was haunted by the spectre of the “Nicholson Challenge”, the spectre which haunts the NHS on David Nicholson’s departure is now one of a major funding gap.

Against this backdrop, ARMA is producing a General Election Manifesto for the UK, while fully taking into account the devolved nature of healthcare and the uncertainty presented by the Scottish referendum on independence. This should be ready soon.

Preparations for the international MSK summit which ARMA is hosting in October, and which marks the start of Bone and Joint Action Week, continue apace – as does our MSK clinical networks project in England, which is now at a pivotal point. Networks have a key role to play in what is arguably an increasingly deregulated NHS, and I would strongly recommend reading the Health Foundation’s recent report on networks in healthcare, which clearly articulates the importance of networks and very much reflects the approach that we have taken with our project to date.

Looking ahead, the BSR annual conference is always a highlight of the MSK calendar, and following a very successful session at last year’s conference, ARMA will once again host a session on “MSK clinical networks – one year on” on Weds 30th April, with a high-profile set of speakers. I hope to see many of you there.

…In the meantime, best wishes in advance for a happy Easter!

Guest Blog - How Much Person-Centred Healthcare?

Guest Blog - How Much Person-Centred Healthcare?

by Nick Pahl, CEO of the British Acupuncture Council

2014 is the centenary of the start of the First World War. Certainly I don’t want to suffer what happened to Asquith the then Prime Minister. Allegedly, he used to spend Cabinet meetings translating dispatches from the front into Latin verse, believing there was little else he could do with them ... my lesson from this is that we need to ensure we respond to concerns, particularly from patients and the public.

Patients are, of course, at the centre of all we do. This month I’m attending an NHS England event that explores ways of collaborating and sharing resources to increase patient participation. We need to forge patient participation links and networks - it results in more efficient use of resources. In this age of transparency, increasing the strength of patient/public voice in all our work is also important.

At the event, I’m interested to hear more about the development of:

  • NHS People Bank – a database to help facilitate and match virtual and face-to-face engagement/volunteering opportunities with the public, patient, carers, organisations and
  • NHS Citizen – a new model for participation which aims to give citizens and organisations a direct, transparent route for their voices to reach the heart of the NHS England decision making process.

Personally, if I am ill, I don’t particularly want to get involved in decision making and want the health professional to know what to do – but I do want to be cared for and treated with respect. Increasingly these days I think we have too much choice and I don’t feel empowered by having a choice, more a sense of anxiety as to whether I’m making the right one.

My view is, for example, that if I was offered an NHS personal health budget (these start in April) I may not take it up! However, I do want to be listened to carefully, with care and compassion as only I am an expert in my own health. I think what is important is a sense of partnership between patients and health professionals to provide good care. This requires a change of power dynamics. Do health professionals have the skills and awareness to make that change?

One concern I have is that, instead of focusing on good care, we too easily turn to technology and products and see that as innovation - rather than focus on skills to develop good care and a partnership with the patient. The cynic in me thinks this technology and product based approach is the impact of commercial interests in healthcare. Another concern is I think good care is not for just one condition. Does one MSK condition stand alone? I’m sure we realise the fundamental interdependency of symptoms on the human body - and I don’t see a move to a “pathways” as a way of necessarily ensuring good care. I am heartened when I see ARMA focusing on holistic person-centred care – we can do more for less that way - but I’m not sure if decision makers see this as the way forward... 

Comment on item and share online.

Members' News and

Check Your Gout Risk - New Tool

Check Your Gout Risk - New Tool

The UK Gout Society is inviting people to check their gout risk following recent national publicity about the condition:

Gout now affects one in 40 people in the UK1 and is the commonest form of inflammatory arthritis worldwide.  It is caused by excess uric acid in the bloodstream, which if present for long enough, can form into needle-like crystals which attack the joints and result in excruciating pain and swelling.

One in ten of all new cases of gout are in the big toe but other joints can be affected too, including the hands.  Left untreated, gout can lead to potential deformity, disability – and can be linked to other serious medical problems including diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke.

“By simply answering a number of basic questions on our website - for example, related to age, gender, alcohol intake, family history and other pre-existing health conditions - people can assess whether they may be at risk of gout and if they need to seek further help and advice from their general practitioner,” says Dr Kelsey Jordan, consultant rheumatologist and medical trustee of the UK Gout Society. 

According to the recent research, the number of gout cases soared by 64% between 1997 and 2012 in the UK.1 The increase is likely to be a result of a combination of factors, including an ageing population and a growing obesity problem. 

“However, gout is generally easy to diagnose and eminently treatable if you get the right professional help,” adds Dr Jordan.

- - -
1  Rising burden of gout in the UK but continuing suboptimal management: a nationwide population study. Kuo C-F, et al. Ann Rheum Dis 2014;0:1–7.

Ministers Pledge for AS it is Campaign

Ministers Pledge for 'AS it is' Campaign

NASS would like to highlight the successful outcomes of the 'AS it is' campaign, launched at the Senedd in March, to raise awareness of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and its impact on patients in Wales.

Janice Gregory AM hosted the reception, with speakers including Health Minister, Professor Mark Drakeford, Dr Zoe McLaren, consultant rheumatologist at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Debbie Cook, NASS Director, Grant Poiner, NASS Trustee, and Tudur Philips, S4C presenter and AS patient.

A short film made by Huw Irranca-Davies MP, expressing his support for NASS and the campaign and telling his own personal AS journey, was also broadcast.

NASS were delighted that 28 Assembly Members (almost half of all AMs) attended, including 7 Government Ministers (70% of the cabinet) and 1 Deputy Minister.

Following on from our successful reception, ankylosing spondylitis featured in the Minister's Health and Social Questions on 19th March.


London Bridges Challenge

Join NASS on 18th May to raise funds and awareness of AS with a stunning walk through the heart of London and help spread the word for World AS Day 2014!

NASS Events | London Bridges Challenge

ARMA discount for Rheumatology 2014

ARMA discount for Rheumatology 2014

ARMA members who book online at using the reference code RHEUM2014ARMA can claim a 5% discount off the price of the conference ticket. Please spread the word within your organisations.

This three-day conference, at ACC Liverpool from 29 April – 1 May, has eight streams, including

  • science
  • paediatric rheumatology
  • rheumatology in primary care
  • allied health professionals
  • worldwide challenges in healthcare delivery

With cutting-edge educational opportunities, the exhibition gives you a chance to learn about the latest products and services available. The exhibitors range from pharmaceutical companies, patient charities, suppliers and support services.

Delegates have an unrivalled opportunity to network and learn from experts in their fields, with sessions covering the latest advances in diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions such as osteoarthritis, pain, sports medicine, osteoporosis and vasculitis.

Have a look at some of the research to be presented at conference, including studies on


Website structure research: deadline 7 April

Please take part in a short online exercise to help the British Society for Rheumatology work out how they should restructure their website.

The exercise involves dropping ‘cards’ representing web pages into groups to show us how you would group information together. This way we will be able to work out how to make the website work best for you. It will also help if you can tell us what you would call the groups.

We're keen to make our website as easy to use as possible. The more people take part in this short exercise, the more likely we are to get a structure that will work for you. Please take part in the online exercise now.

Thank you!

National Osteoporosis Society site

NOS Dates for Your Diary

8th May, Falls and Fractures Alliance Executive Board (FFAEB) Meeting

The Falls and Fractures Alliance brings together organisations to focus on preventing falls and fractures. The Alliance is steered by an Executive Board which will next meet on Thursday 8th May 2014.
For more information about the Alliance visit this page.

11th June, All Party Parliamentary Osteoporosis Group (APPOG)
AGM and Drop-in Session

On the 11th June the All Party Parliamentary Osteoporosis Group will hold its AGM and a drop in session on the provision of Fracture Liaison Services across the UK. More information on APPOG can be found here.

30th November – 2nd December, National Osteoporosis Society Conference 2014

We are pleased to announce that the next Osteoporosis Conference will be held from Sunday 30th November to Tuesday 2nd December, 2014 at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham.
Visit our conference page for more information and to keep up-to-date on the latest developments.

Arthritis Watch England survey launched!

Arthritis Watch England survey launched!

People with arthritis have been telling Arthritis Care that services are being cut, waiting times are going up and they are finding it harder to access services.

We think it is vital to find out how widespread these problems are.

Arthritis Watch is the new project to gather evidence from people across England of arthritis services in their localities, (i.e. their local Clinical Commissioning Group areas). This will be collated to build up a national picture of the state of arthritis services, including shortfalls in provision and examples of good practice.

To find out more, and to access the online survey go to:
The survey will remain anonymous and we will not disclose any details to a third party.

The Arthritis Watch survey is a live document: it will remain available throughout the year and individual responses can be added to, allowing people to respond when they spot changes in services.

Read more about Arthritis Watch  on the Arthritis Care website.


Arthritis Care Awareness Week 2014

Mon 12th May - Sun 18th May 2014

United Kingdom

Arthritis Care Awareness Week is a UK based event which raises awareness about arthritis, gathers support for people with this condition, and highlights the work of Arthritis Care


New Vision from Arthritis Care

New Vision from Arthritis Care

Arthritis Care’s vision has always been of a world where people with arthritis can lead full and active lives. Our new Strategic Plan sets out how we can have a greater impact on the lives of people living with arthritis, through our five new impact goals:

  • Impact goal one: To increase the number of people with arthritis who are able to manage their pain on a daily basis.
  • Impact goal two: To improve the health and wellbeing of people with arthritis and ensure more have the confidence to manage their condition.
  • Impact goal three: To reduce the physical and emotional isolation felt by many people living with arthritis.
  • Impact goal four: To ensure more people with arthritis can live an independent life, receiving the support they are entitled to.
  • Impact goal five: To improve services and ensure the voice of people living with arthritis is heard and acted on.

You can find out more about how we’ll be delivering against these goals over the next three years in our Strategic Plan 2014 page.

Arthritis Care is Recruiting

To add our Senior Management Team:

  • Director of Fundraising & Development

o   We are seeking a Director of Fundraising & Development to take responsibility for developing and delivering a fundraising strategy to maximise Arthritis Care’s income.  We are looking for someone to take overall responsibility for our income-raising relationships and corporate partnerships, and who can explore and implement creative and innovative approaches to better service delivery, resource and asset management and income generation.

  • Director of Nations & Services

o   We are seeking a Director of Nations & Services who will co-ordinate the development and delivery of all our services to people living with arthritis across the UK, including our self-management support and our Helplines.

  • Director of Policy, Communications & Information

o   We are seeking a Director of Policy, Communications & Information who will lead on communications both from and across Arthritis Care and to be responsible for brand projection, implementing strategies to preserve the integrity of our logo and name.  We are looking for someone who can steer and determine our policy voice at the national and local level, ensure that we have evidence in place to support our policy decisions and to effectively deliver long lasting change and improvements for people living with arthritis. 

You can find more information on the Arthritis Care website.

A Fresh Approach in Practice

A Fresh Approach in Practice

The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine UK has published A Fresh Approach in Practice, the second publication in a series of guides to Sport and Exercise Medicine Services for both Primary and Secondary care in the NHS.

This edition has particular reference to the burden of physical inactivity and musculoskeletal problems. Aimed at CCGs, Trusts, Health Boards and connected organisations, this document outlines practical examples of how effective SEM MSK services can be within communities and the NHS.

Visit the FSEM media page or download the document directly in pdf format.

New poster for World Lupus Day

New poster for World Lupus Day

LUPUS UK released their new poster for World Lupus Day (May 10th) earlier this month. The poster has done very well on Facebook. It has been shared over 2,700 times and has been seen by over 108,000 people so far. A copy of the poster was sent to all LUPUS UK members with the Spring Edition of our magazine and it can also be downloaded from our website.

To coincide with the launch of the new poster and to help raise awareness for World Lupus Day, we have launched a competition for people to ‘fill in’ the blank person on the front of the poster. All entries will be posted on the LUPUS UK Facebook page and the one with the most ‘likes’ by the end of World Lupus Day will win a £10 Argos Gift Card.

Full details of the competition can be found on the LUPUS UK website.

British Acupuncture Accreditation

British Acupuncture Accreditation

The latest list of accredited Acupuncture courses is published on the BAAB website. Graduates of these programmes are eligible for acceptance as BAcC members.

These are courses that “substantially meet the requirements of BAAB. Scrutiny of the developed programme has been through documentation, discussion with the course team, students and graduates of the programme, evidence of external examiner reports and students' assessed work and observation of teaching both in the classroom and the clinic.”


BAcC Accreditation

In March 2014, we were pleased to receive a renewal of accreditation by the Professional Standards Authority, as part of their Assured Voluntary Register scheme.

You can read about their assessments and standards on the PSA website.


British Acupuncture Conference of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
This year the conference will be held in Rugby, 26th-28th September.

Marathon Places Available with Team A

Marathon Places Available with Team A

Edinburgh Marathon Festival 2014 – 24th & 25th May 2014

Join Team A and help support our life-changing research to stop arthritis from stealing the quality of people’s lives.

We have guaranteed charity places still available. But you will need to be quick because registration for the marathon closes on the 2nd April and all other distances close on the 30th April.

Take part in the 5k, 10k, team relay, half marathon or full marathon and be part of Team A!

For more details or how to sign up please visit or contact Hannah on 0300 790 0402 or email

Receive 50% off your registration fee when you enter the promotional code EMF50.




Arthritis Care Scotland’s “TLC for LTC” self-management programme proving popular.

TLC for LTC’ is a self-management project for people with long-term conditions (LTC) and their carers – who might be family, friends or neighbours.

A recent recruit said:
“… my self esteem and confidence has soared beyond my wildest dreams. I feel good that I can help educate and assist others with long term conditions to best manage their condition and improve their quality of life.”

What makes this project so appealing to local communities is that it was created in response to feedback from previous service users who highlighted the challenges to people with long-term conditions, who want to follow empowering self-management principles but whose carers are unsure how to best support this. As Arthritis Care wants everyone who lives with a long term condition to live as full and active a life as possible,  ‘TLC for LTC’ uses peer-led, community-based training of self-management approaches for those with LTCs along with separate sessions for carers  who are also (indirectly) living with a long term condition.

Arthritis Care Scotland trains community volunteers in a free 4-day train-the-trainer course which gives them a Scottish Vocational Qualification in presenting and facilitating – as well as an impressive diet of transferrable skills. Volunteers are then given ongoing support as they deliver the ‘TLC for LTC’ training package in their local areas.

The project has proved to be popular in the target areas to date of Orkney and Lanarkshire with plans already underway to train more volunteers in the Western Isles, Shetland, Fife, Glasgow and Aberdeenshire. A less scripted approach than previous ‘Stanford-type’ models allows those who best understand living with a LTC to create a powerful interaction with people from their local communities who undertake the modular training course. The workshops – which each focus on particular aspects of living with a long-term condition including effective communication, managing change and understanding pain – bring to the community well-developed skills and understanding of how to achieve a better quality of life by managing and regaining control over long-term conditions. Understanding how to manage change and communicate effectively can lessen the impact on their lives and that of the wider family.

The ‘TLC for LTC’ project is supported by the Self Management IMPACT Fund for Scotland provided by the Scottish Government, administered by Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland. For more information on this and Arthritis Care Scotland’s full project portfolio, please visit

Read full item online.

Quality Standards for people with Psoriatic arthritis

Quality Standards for people with Psoriatic arthritis

Quality Improvement Scotland, a part of NHS SCOTLAND, have told us they hope to take forward a programme of work on "indicators”, which will be a step on from Sign 121 for skin psoriasis and PSA, and will let us know when this commences. Hopefully these would provide more mandatory standards for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis in Scotland.

Young People and Joint Creativity

New Youth contacts for Arthritis Care Scotland

Seven young people with arthritis have recently joined the Arthritis Care Scotland Young People and Families' Services volunteer team, and they attended their weekend induction training in Stirling in March.

Two are new Youth Contacts, and the rest have taken on the newly created volunteer roles of either Joint Creativity Support volunteer or Activity Weekend Support volunteer.

During the weekend they were introduced to the what? whys? and hows? of Arthritis Care UK and in Scotland. There was specific training on The Social Model of Disability, Child Protection, Health and Safety, as well as initial training on group dynamics and presentation skills.

At the conclusion the volunteers declared themselves raring to go, and all will be helping to deliver YPFS events this year. For more details of our Young People and Families' Services see Arthritis Care Scotland's young-people-families page.


Joint Creativity - Putting the ART into ARThritis in Glasgow

Arthritis Care Scotland held an all-day art workshop for children and young people with any form of arthritis aged from 10 to 16 years old, in Glasgow at the end of March. Because words are often not adequate to express the experience of having arthritis, Joint Creativity gives participants the opportunity to create art about arthritis using a variety of different mediums - from drawing and painting to sculpture and printing to music, creative writing and photography - whilst having a lot of fun and making new friends.

The workshop was followed by a five day exhibition at the TouchBase Business Centre in Glasgow. A first for Scotland, the ARThritis exhibition displayed art created by children and young people with arthritis from the ages of 10 to 16 years, reflecting their personal experiences of arthritis.

For more information on Joint Creativity and ARThritis please contact: Gill Meens, Young People and Families’ Development Officer, e-mail:

ARMA Networks


Love Your Bones Day

Love Your Bones Day

Bishops Waltham 19th March 2014

The Portsmouth Support Group covers a wide geographical area and we have been told that some people have difficulty travelling to the city to attend meetings. Consequently, for several years we have been organising events in different parts of the region.

The latest of these was held in Bishops Waltham on Wednesday 19th March and was attended by 82 people, which justified it immediately.

There was a varied programme of talks covering medication, exercise, diet and falls-prevention, all of which prompted numerous questions from the audience.

The speakers included Dr. Steven Young-Min (Consultant Rheumatologist) who provided perspective on statistics; Colin Beevor (Rheumatology Matron) who spoke about the introduction of The Osteoporosis Personal Care Plan at Queen Alexandra Hospital; Mandy Finnegan (Clinical Nurse Specialist) who dealt with medication and Jill Phipps (S.E Hampshire Falls Prevention Coordinator) who got the audience exercising.

The complimentary lunch was provided by MCM special Occasions and earned a round of applause.

Our thanks are due to everyone who contributed to a very successful day.

See photos from the day online.


Vision 2043 Competition

Vision 2043 Competition

What is the one thing that would transform your future?

Enter the Vision 2043 competition to make the world more inclusive for people with RMDs and have the opportunity to win a great prize!

It’s easy to enter – share one idea to transform the lives of people with rheumatic or musculoskeletal disease (RMDs) by the year 2043. The ideas can either be entered as an image, video, or soundtrack with a brief description in English, or as a written entry in English.

If there is something that doesn’t yet exist, then use your imagination and send in your idea of what it could look like. Simply upload it onto the website

Prizes are awarded to the entries receiving the most online votes. The closing date for the competition is Friday, 18 July 2014, so enter now!

Spotlight On...

Care and Support Planning Guide

Care and Support Planning Guide

The Care and Support Planning Guide from National Voices is a document designed for anyone with health and care needs. It explains the proper role and aims of a care and support planner, and as you move through the interactive pages, links you to the support resources relevant to you.

It will help you to:

  • understand what care and support planning is and how it might help you
  • see how care and support planning works at each of the four stages
  • find out about other people's experiences of care and support planning and what they thought about it
  • get started with care and support planning


The Care and Support Planning Guide is an interactive PDF.  If you open the guide in your web browser, you will be able to scroll through it like a normal PDF, but if you want to use the navigation buttons to move between pages and sections you will need to save a copy of the guide on your computer.

Also provided as an alternative is an easy read version, a more straightforward summary document.

Effective Networks for Improvement

Effective Networks for Improvement

This Health Foundation report will help those who want to use networks as a mechanism for change, and guide improvement leaders to ensure their networks are designed and run in line with what works best.

Research has confirmed that networks are uniquely positioned to support quality improvement, and can provide a neutral environment where individuals from different organisations, disciplines and constituencies can collaborate on an equal footing, freed from the constraints and competition created by more hierarchical structures.

PiF’s Annual Patient Information Conference

PiF’s Annual Patient Information Conference

Thursday, 1st May in Solihull, hosted by the Patient Information Forum (PiF).

This event will cover, in just one day, the fundamental components of delivering high quality health information resources and services. With experts from across the NHS and voluntary sector, keynote sessions will bring you up to date with policy, commissioning and individual participation.

Visit to find out more information or to register.

Follow PiF on Twitter at

Accountable care organisations in the United States and England

Accountable care organisations in the United States and England

This seventeen-page report by the King’s Fund describes the different types of ACOs emerging in the United States; presents some early evidence on their performance; assesses the future for ACOs; and discusses the implication of these developments for integrated care initiatives in England.


ARMA Calendar

BIMM Spring Symposium                                                                      12 April 2014

Chiropractic Awareness Week                                                              14-18 April 2014

PMR-GCA Scotland AGM, Dundee                                                       17 April 2014

ARMA Board Meeting                                                                              24 April 2014

Naidex National, NEC Birmingham                                                  29 April-1 May

BSR Conference - Rheumatology 2014, ASC Liverpool                 29 April 2014

ARMA session at BSR Conference, ACC Liverpool                           30 April 2014

Patient Information Forum Conference                                            01 May 2014

FFAEB Meeting                                                                                         08 May 2014

World Lupus Day                                                                                     10 May 2014

Arthritis Care Awareness Week 2014                                               12-18 May 2014

NRAS Roadshow, Leamington Spa                                                      14 May 2014

EDS UK Patient Awareness Day                                                           16 May 2014

Policy Leads and Gold Partner Stakeholders meeting                   07 May 2014

EULAR European Congress of Rheumatology, Paris                      11-14 June 2014

Policy Leads Meeting, Arthritis Care                                                 17 June 2014

2014 Love Your Bones conference, The Mountbatten Centre    25 June 2014

NRAS Roadshow, York                                                                            25 June 2014

Commissioning Show, Excel London                                                  25 June 2014

CEO Meeting, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy                        08 July 2014

ARMA Board Meeting                                                                              18 July 2014

EULAR Vision 2043 competition closes                                             18 July 2014

CEO Meeting, British Orthopaedic Association                               07 October 2014

2014 World Network Conference                                                        12 October 2014

World Arthritis day                                                                                 12 October 2014

ARMA Board Meeting                                                                              17 October 2014

BSR Autumn Conference                                                                       27 November 2014

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