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As the UK population ages and the number of people living with multiple long-term conditions grow, the burden of MSK conditions is set to increase. The last six years alone have seen an increase of nearly 300% in hip and knee replacements, for instance. Yet MSK conditions remain chronically under-prioritised in the NHS.

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Musculoskeletal and Arthritis News

FibroAction and Fibromyalgia Association UK join forces

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

Guest Blog: The Need for Competency-Based Commissioning

by Matthew Bennett, President, British Chiropractic Association As we all know back pain is the single biggest cause of disability in the UK according to the Global Burden of Disease Report. Despite this huge cost both in human and financial terms, care can often appear to be disjointed. In 2009 NICE published guidelines on the Management of persistent non-specific low back pain but many regions in the UK still struggle to implement the guidance and with many different providers being involved in the management of back pain an integrated approach is elusive. Due to the episodic nature of much low back ...

Putting theory into practice - PIF Conference

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

NASS are moving | Members' Day 2015 in York

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

Vacancy for Youth and Family Services Manager (JIA)

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

Scleroderma Society’s Rare Disease Day & Digital Ulcer Policy

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

Manchester to lead project for better lupus treatment

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

Endorse Clinical Standards and Guidelines - Fractures & Bone Health

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

The BAcC have rebranded / Acupuncture Awareness week launched

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

BIMM Upcoming Events 2015

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

Mixed views about progress in latest audit of public health teams

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

Macmillan Influencing Commissioning toolkit

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

BackCare's new Chief Exec & Website

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

PSALV and the new Cross-Party Group

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

Personalised Care and Support Planning in Practice

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

Guest Blog: What the ARMA Manifesto means for me

by Ella Vine, Chief Executive, FibroAction It was a pleasure to attend last week’s ARMA parliamentary reception, an event with expert speakers and healthcare professionals on the subject of musculoskeletal conditions. The event was well attended and it was good to see that some MPs are genuinely interested in the cause and support the 2015 ARMA Manifesto. Lord Hunt, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, has spoken about the challenges lying ahead of us to improve the diagnosis and care of MSK conditions and addressed all six points of ARMA’s Manifesto. One of the biggest challenges for all of us ...

NHS England Consults on Investment Prioritisation of Specialist Services and Treatments

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

BIMM Upcoming Events 2015

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

Orthopaedics Conference: Call for Abstracts

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

NICE guidance for anti TNF therapy for ankylosing spondylitis

The NICE guidance for anti TNF therapy for ankylosing spondylitis is currently being reviewed. NICE are carrying out a Multiple Technology Appraisal on ‘Adalimumab, etanercept infliximab and golimumab for treating ankylosing spondylitis and non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis’. NASS have made a submission and will be attending the first appraisal committee meeting on 25 February. Guidance is expected in July 2015. Ankylosing spondylitis and axial spondyloarthritis (non-radiographic) - adalimumab, etanercept infliximab and golimumab (inc rev TA143 and TA233) | Guidance and guidelines | NICE

ARRC and Acupuncture Awareness 2015

Acupuncture Research Resource Centre (ARRC) symposium is coming up This year’s ARRC symposium will take place on Saturday 21st March at King’s College London. The full-day programme gives you an opportunity to hear leading acupuncture researchers present their latest work. Keynote speakers are Rosa Schnyer (University of Texas) and Dr Hugh MacPherson (University of York). For a full line-up and to book your place, go to Science promotes ‘The Art and Science of Traditional Medicine’ Science magazine presents a series of articles making a case for the integration of Traditional Chinese Medicine into modern medical practice. From the new WHO Traditional ...

EULAR: High-5 for World Arthritis Day

To kick-off 2015, EUALR is very excited to announce the theme for World Arthritis Day 2015-16: It’s in your hands, take action. EULAR will encourage people with RMDs, along with their carers, healthcare professionals, policy-makers, researchers and the general public to seize every opportunity to take action, make a difference and improve the quality of life for people with RMDs. To bring our theme to life in 2015, we will be asking people around the globe to take action for World Arthritis Day by sharing a ‘High 5’ in support of people with RMDs on social media, using the hashtag #WADHigh5. There will ...

6th Annual ARMA Lecture, 2014

ARMA held its 6th annual Lecture on Human Rights Day, 10 December 2014, at Westminster Central Hall, London. Our Speaker this year was Lord Hunt of King’s Heath, Shadow Labour Health Minister in the House of Lords and former Chair of Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, as well as President of the Royal Society for Public Health. Lord Hunt spoke about a broad range of issues and challenges facing the NHS in England and Labour’s view of these, and went on to commend and express his support for all the recommendations in ARMA’s General Election Manifesto. Listen to Lord Hunt’s ...

Rheumatology 2015 - Reduced rate booking

Join over 2000 colleagues at the biggest rheumatology event in the UK. After a successful 2014 event, Rheumatology 2015 promises to be even bigger with line-up of prominent speakers and comprehensive programme now taking shape. Plus, book your place before Friday 30 January and you can save over 30% on the delegate rate.

NHS England - Forward View into action: Planning for 2015/16

Leaders of the NHS in England have published planning guidance for the NHS, setting out the steps to be taken during 2015/16 to start delivering the NHS Five Year Forward View. NHS England, Monitor, the NHS Trust Development Authority, the Care Quality Commission, Public Health England and Health Education England have come together to issue the joint guidance called The Forward View into action: planning for 2015/16, coordinating and establishing a firm foundation for longer term transformation of the NHS. Visit the NHS England website for more commentary and downloads.

New ARMA Resource for Networks

The ARMA office has just created and published a Network Induction Pack. It is a guide to provide advice and assistance when forming a new network, and also details specific advice for already established Networks. You can download the Network Induction Pack (655 Kb) by clicking the PDF icon. A core aim for ARMA is to foster co-operation, understanding and mutual support between individuals and organisations. Visit our ARMA Networks and Local Groups page.

Guest Blog: Musings from Primary Care

by Dr. Alan Nye, President Primary Care Rheumatology Society, Executive Director, Pennine MSK Partnership Ltd. This is my final month as President of the Primary Care Rheumatology Society and it’s been a very interesting 2 years for me. I apologise that this blog is England-centric, but England is the totality of my NHS experience and I cannot write about areas outside of my experience. I would like to cover, albeit briefly, three areas that over the past few years have become very dear to my heart: MSK training for primary care MSK networks and commissioning MSK services Shared decision-making   For a long time the lack ...

ARMA is the umbrella body providing a collective voice for the arthritis and musculoskeletal community in the UK.

Together, ARMA and its member organisations work to improve quality of life for all those living with musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders in the UK.

We aim to foster co-operation between charities and professional organisations, working to enhance understanding and mutual support between individuals and organisational bodies.

ARMA’s Standards of Care

Arthritis and related musculoskeletal conditions affect one in 5 people in the UK, causing pain and disability.

They can strike at any age, from infancy onwards. They cost society billions each year in health and social costs, lost employment, benefits; and they cost many individuals their independence and quality of life. There are many myths about these conditions, but the most damaging of all is the myth that nothing can be done.

Something can always be done, be it providing details of a local support group, or designing a service which means that people see the right specialist at the right time.

As part of ARMA’s Standards of Care project, a group of people with a range of musculoskeletal conditions has come together to identify what needs to happen in health services to enable them to minimise the pain and disability of arthritis, and to help people remain independent. They have suggested reasonable expectations of care and services for all people with musculoskeletal conditions.

We believe people have a right to:

  • Access to appropriate services for all people with musculoskeletal conditions
  • Timely diagnosis and treatment
  • Information
  • Services which are centered on the needs of users
  • Independence and self-determination

Read more about our overarching principles for the standards of care for people with musculoskeletal conditions.



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