November 2012

 Director's Update

Dear all,

Much has happened, and much is about to happen, since our last newsletter in October, as you will see below.

We have continued to discuss our new Strategic Plan 2013-2015 at both our CEO and Board meetings last month. The document will feature again at next week’s policy group meeting, and following some final tweaking, it will be ready to go live from January. A final version of the plan will be circulated to all members in December. Both the CEO and policy group meetings are very useful and (I hope) stimulating fora for discussing plans, policy and strategy and for sharing information, and it’s good to see many of our members attending both. In order to improve communications and information-sharing on a more regular basis, the policy meetings in particular will be moving to every 6 weeks from January, with the option of joining by phone for those who can’t attend – dates tbc.

ARMA also held its AGM and Representatives’ Forum last month, which this year featured a thought-provoking presentation from Prof. Tony Woolf, followed by a very interactive session on the value of ARMA for its members, superbly led by our newest staff member, Siobhan Lanigan. I certainly found the discussion very stimulating, and left feeling convinced more than ever that the Alliance is on the right path. Thank you to all those who attended, and to Sarah Wright for handling the (never simple) logistics.

Last week saw the publication of both the Mandate for the NHS Commissioning Board and the NHS Outcomes Framework for next year, which we will be discussing in the next policy group meeting (and probably the one after that). Last week I also had the opportunity to quiz the Secretary of State on care planning at an event organised by Age UK. What is perhaps most interesting on this issue is the fact that the Mandate picks up a promise made by the previous government to provide a personalised care plan for every person with a long-term condition (LTC), and Sir John Oldham (QIPP lead for LTCs)’s announcement at the same event that work is currently underway to roll out the Year of Care model to all LTCs beyond diabetes, which of course is one of the objectives for MSK in our strategic plan. I’ll be having a closer look….

Earlier this month, Sarah Wallace from NRAS and Tom Cassidy from NASS represented the UK at the EULAR PARE Conference in Zurich, which I hear was very good thanks in no small part to our two reps. Members will have seen the call for submissions for the annual Edgar Stene Prize writing competition, which this year is on the theme of “Growing up or growing older – my secret for healthy ageing with a rheumatic or musculoskeletal disease”: please send your entries to

Looking ahead:

This week I’m really looking forward to our 4th annual ARMA Lecture, which this year, as you know, is being given by the Director for Domain Two (Long-Term Conditions) at the NHS Commissioning Board, Dr. Martin McShane. It promises to be a very stimulating evening, and I look forward to seeing many of you there.

ARMA networks have an important role to play in helping to deliver ARMA’s priorities locally, and I will be meeting with the convenors of the existing networks in England, Scotland and Wales in December to discuss the way forward. Their success will however rest largely on how well ARMA networks are able to link up with other ARMA members’ local groups, so I hope we’ll be seeing a lot of local joined-up working from next year.

Perhaps our biggest project for 2013 revolves around MSK commissioning and in particular the development of MSK clinical networks in England, and we will be advertising soon for a Project Manager, funded via our strategic partnership with the DH. ARMA will also be running a session on clinical networks at the 2013 BSR Conference, where we will also have 13 stands available for members, with thanks to the BSR: if you’re interested and haven’t said so yet, please contact  

Our membership remains a very healthy one, and I am delighted to welcome ARMA’s newest member, the National Osteoporosis Society. We will also be running a members’ survey in the first week of December. Please keep your eyes out for this and take a few minutes to fill this out.

Finally, I will be heading to Vietnam at the end of the month for the international Bone and Joint Decade Conference, in ARMA’s capacity as the UK’s National Action Network. I know that there is much that we can both share and learn from this truly global event for the MSK “international community”, and I will be sharing the outcomes with members on my return.

…In the meantime, our website continues to improve thanks to the tireless work of our web intern, Garreth Mills, but please do let us have your thoughts, feedback and any suggestions on how we can improve it.

All the best,

Members' News and

BSR and BHPR Prizes and Awards

Celebrating the individuals who change the face of rheumatology

Rewarding professional excellence, innovations and achievements; each year BSR and BHPR award a series of prizes and bursaries to recognize achievements and encourage those working to improve patient care across all levels.  The awards provide an opportunity for applicants in a variety of roles, at all career stages to showcase their work to an audience of peers and to Inspire and inform others.

BSR and BHPR bursaries have assisted the professional development of over 50 recipients in the last 4 years, previous prize winners have said that winning made them stand out from their colleagues, leading to fresh opportunities.  

Applications for the 2013 Awards are now open, for further information on each of the awards visit the to enter and be in with a chance of taking part in Rheumatology 2013.  

ENTRY DEADLINE: Wednesday 21 November 2012.

Read online.

Portsmouth Hospitals host Love your Bones

Love your Bones Patient and Public Conference

A message from Valerie Robins of the Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust and the Portsmouth ARMA Network:

Dear Friends,

Just to let you know that we are in the early phase of plans for the 2013- Love Your Bones Conference.We hope that you will share this information with your members.

We would once again like to invite you to have a Charity or Service Exhibition Stand for the event. Please see the poster attached. If you are interested please contact:

We look forward to working with you again next year.

Valerie Robins, Rheumatology Secretary

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New-look NASS

The National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS) is to launch its new identity on Monday 5 November 2012 with a new logo, a refreshed website and a new event in the Houses of Parliament that celebrates the people who have supported NASS in recent years.

Director, Debbie Cook, said ‘For a long time NASS has not had an official logo and therefore we did not feel that, as an organisation, we were able to positively reflect the 200,000 people with ankylosing spondylitis that we support and represent throughout the UK. NASS has grown as an organisation that is professional, credible, informative, supportive and optimistic and so it became important that our brand is recognised for all the things that we are now.

At the same time, we acknowledge that Ankylosing Spondylitis is about the whole person, not just about the symptoms of the disease or its location within the body. AS is also about lifestyle, work, relationships, physiotherapy, exercise, and treatments. Our work reflects this holistic approach and so our brand needs to reflect this as well’.

NASS worked with Closer to Brands to develop its new image which was approved by NASS  members at the AGM earlier this year. It was decided to launch the new identity on the 5th of November when many of our volunteers, donors, fundraisers, rheumatologists, physiotherapists and other supporters of NASS are coming together to celebrate their contributions to NASS and the AS community and by choosing to hold the event at the Houses of Parliament we can simultaneously thank those supporters in public and collectively fly the flag for AS among MPs. We are also very grateful to "Healthcare at Home" and "Closer to Brands" for sponsoring this event.

Read online.

Community Exercise Programme

10 out 10 Healthy Walk Saturday 27th October 2012

Week 4 of the 10 out 10 Community Exercise Programme was dedicated to a health walk, something that those living with Rheumatoid Arthritis can do with their family, friends and pets.

People living with Rheumatoid Arthritis taking part on the 5th programme of the 10 out 10 Community Exercise Programme are pictured here with family friends and staff from Solent NHS Trust, Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust- Rheumatology and Portsmouth City Council  Healthy Walk Scheme

C Beevor Matron says “Walking is a great way to get active and start exercising and vital part of self management for anyone living with Rheumatoid Arthritis, although a fresh and blustery morning, we couldn’t have asked for better weather.”

C Jeffries, Physiotherapy Manager: “We enjoy joining the 10 out 10 delegates for this event with our children and dogs. Walking is something we can all enjoy.”

For more information about Healthy Walks in Portsmouth please contact:- Paula Day 02392 841379 or see for a regular programme of walks.

For more information about 10 out 10 – Community Exercise programme for those living with Rheumatoid Arthritis please contact Colin Beevor 0239228 6000 ext 1495 or  email

Read online.

Video for Lupus UK

LUPUS UK recently launched a short, animated video to improve the public’s understanding of lupus in a new way.

The video demonstrates very basically how lupus affects the body and mentions the most common symptoms and a couple of the triggers. It has been done in a fun and simple way to attract people to watch and make it easy to digest.

So far the feedback received has been excellent.The video can be seen at here or by clicking on the image. Alternatively it is also available on the home page of the LUPUS UK website at

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Psoriasis Scotland Autumn Newsletter 2012

Psoriasis Scotland Arthritis Link Volunteers Update

In the last few days PSALV has provided an update of their activities over a busy summer and autumn. They have been active on both the Dermatology and Rheumatology fronts.

To see details of what they have been doing over the last year, open or download their newsletter document here;  right click to save the newsletter as a PDF document to read later. 

Read online.

Patients in Focus Award 2012

Patients in Focus Award 2012

The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society has just launched its Patients in Focus Award to recognise best practice in the education, information, treatment and care of people with rheumatoid arthritis. Entries must demonstrate a patient focused initiative that makes effective use of a multi-disciplinary team and shows evidence of patient benefit. Entries must be able to demonstrate sustainability and best use of available resources. There will be three prizes: 1st (£1,000) 2nd (£500) and 3rd (£250) and these should be used for educational purposes. The winning entry will also be invited to present their initiative at the British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) conference in April 2013. Applications are invited from those working in rheumatology either in a hospital unit or in the community. The application form can be downloaded from Completed entries should be sent to NRAS and must be received by the 8th February 2013.

NRAS needs you!

We are looking at creating a new section in the next NRAS magazine entitled ‘a week in the life of...’ with every edition featuring a different health care professional. This includes all those who are involved in the care of someone with rheumatoid arthritis – doctors (rheumatologists & GPs), nurses, OTs, physiotherapists, carers. We want to demonstrate just what a typical working week is like for HCPs, highlighting their range of work, the long hours, the continuous training, the volume of paperwork, the tough decisions and so on. People only see their HCP for a short period of time so it would be nice to show a bit more of what they do. If you would like to feature then please get in touch by emailing

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Rheumatology Nursing - leading the way


Book your place……Present a poster……

Following a very lively and successful conference in Bristol in 2012, the RCN Rheumatology Forum would like to announce their 2013 conference, ‘Rheumatology Nursing – leading the way’. It will be another full and interesting conference taking place at the Edinburgh conference centre on February 21st and 22nd 2013. Sessions include Ankylosing spondylitis, Raynauds, improving the patient experience as well as workshops on fatigue, cardiovascular risk, outcome measures and much more. The conference is open to any healthcare professionals with an interest in rheumatology and is aimed at both the novice and experienced practitioner. Local, reasonably priced accommodation is available.

Abstracts for posters to be presented at this conference are also welcome. Highlight the good work you are doing. Never presented a poster before? Then this is the venue for you. Support will be offered in helping to prepare your abstract and best showcase your work. This is a wonderfully supportive environment to present a poster for the first time. Prizes are available for the best posters. For more information please contact Vicky Chamberlain at

Book your place at the conference now by following this link

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HMSA's Scottish Focus Group


The HMSA staff joins with the HMSA Trustees in welcoming Dr Alan Hakim as the new Chief Medical Advisor (CMA) to the HMSA. I know that Professor Grahame wanted me to let you all know he is still going to be actively involved in the HMSA and for that we are very grateful. We would also like to welcome our 3 new Patrons, Hannah Ensor, Kaliya Franklin and Kate Monaghue who were introduced in the e-newsletter in July. The e-newsletter can be found in the member’s area of the website so I won’t re-introduce them all here but a very warm welcome to all three of you.

We are hoping to catch up with our other Patron, Norman Lamb, at the Long Term conditions Conference at the end of January where he is a key note speaker.


Whilst we were in Scotland we met Professor Ferrell briefly and staff from what was still known as Long Term Conditions Alliance for Scotland (LTCAS). This meeting highlighted the fact that our Scottish members are at a significant disadvantage in accessing services best designed to meet their needs. The Hypermobility Clinic in Glasgow only sees a few new patients every month and does not have the resources to expand. Therefore we decided to start a consultation with our Scottish members. A focus group has been set up for the 12th December at the offices of the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland.

The focus group will run from 10-3pm at the following address:Alliance Scotland, Venlaw Building, 349 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4AA.

Professor Ferrell and a Genetic Liaison Nurse, Grace MacLeod will be attending.  The aims of the focus group will be to discuss what services currently provide and what they should, what help the HMSA can provide and our work with the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland. All Scottish members are very welcome but please book in advance with Donna on so we can ensure all needs are catered for. Light refreshments, sandwiches will be provided. We have space for 20 people, so it will be a ‘first come and first served’ basis. There is no charge for this meeting.

Donna Wicks HMSA Senior Medical Liaison Officer

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Bone and Joint Decade

New BJD website launched

The Bone and Joint Decade is pleased to announce the release of their new website. The site has been redesigned with a fresh new look and has been updated with information about our organisation and mission to raise awareness throughout the world for musculoskeletal conditions. For the latest news follow the link to

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Policy Items

Prioritising MSDs makes economic sense

In October, Vicky Chamberlain of the Royal College of Nursing Rheumatology Forum published the following article with Nursing Times:

Read online.

Musculoskeletal disorders can be managed effectively in primary care

You might be interested to read an article co-authored by Federico Moscogiuri, our director, with Dr Alan Nye. Published on, the piece covers ideas on shared-decision making, spending variation and consultant-led pathways.

Read online.

Spotlight on...

Musculoskeletal System Redesign

MSK system redesign is the redesign of services that provide diagnosis and treatment of bone, muscle and tissue conditions, disorders and associated pain. This includes specialities such as orthopaedics, rheumatology, physiotherapy, related podiatry and chronic pain across the planned care pathway, and excludes trauma and non-elective (emergency) care.

Challenges with the current MSK system in Bedfordshire

•    Patients being ‘ping ponged’ within the MSK system, not being diagnosed or treated at the right time, first time, resulting in a negative patient experience but also evidence of duplication and inefficiencies
•    Services working in isolation of each other
•    Inequity in access and treatment
•    Capacity issues within secondary care
•    A current growth in MSK spend that is not sustainable and a large area of spend using a programme budget approach.

In response to these challenges, Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) is in the process of procuring an integrated  MSK system through an outcome based incentivised prime contract.  This will improve the coordination of patient care and the patient experience, ensuring better quality and higher value health care for the population of Bedfordshire.   

The process aims to share financial risk between commissioners and providers, such that commissioners can accurately predict annual spend on MSK and the prime contractor is incentivised to identify and eliminate waste from within the MSK ‘supply chain’ and deliver seamless integrated care to the patient.

How can you be involved?

Patients and clinicians as the most important interface in health care are best placed to contribute to the development of the MSK system specification.   The focus of which will be, what are the most important outcomes for patients and clinicians, and how can those outcomes be captured and measured.  If you are interested in being involved in this innovative approach to commissioning a MSK integrated system, we would love to hear from you.  

Please contact timothy.o’

Community Network - The Power of Speech

Community Network is currently working with Arthritis Care as part of Age UK's "fit as a fiddle" project.

The project is a 6-week healthy living course over the telephone. Members can get together to exchange recipes and discuss how to improve physical activity for example, in a safe environment facilitated by a trained volunteer.

Community Network is funded to deliver the project nationally as well as running general telephone group projects in London and other areas of the UK including Scotland and Wales. Organisations and service users may become involved in funded projects at no cost.

The YouTube link describes Community Network’s services in more detail, and you can read and download the Community Network brochure on the ARMA website, here.

ARMA Calendar

ARMA Policy meeting                                  November 20th

ARMA Annual Lecture                                 November 21st

ARMA Clinical Networks Meeting             November 22nd

ARMA Local Networks meeting                 December 12th

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