• The Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA) is the umbrella body for the arthritis and musculoskeletal community in the UK, and our mission is to transform the quality of life of people with musculoskeletal conditions. We have 40 member organisations ranging from specialised support groups for rare diseases to major research charities and national professional bodies.

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Commissioning musculoskeletal services in England

Read ARMA’s Key Messages for Commissioners

ARMA has a new telephone number: 0203 856 1978

Please note our new Skype-for-Business office number.

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Improving outcomes through MSK Clinical Networks:
a national seminar

Peter Kay's slides

This event took place on January 21st 2016 at the Grand Connaught Rooms in Holborn.

Introduced by Peter Kay, MSK National Clinical Director, NHS England, our guest speakers presented on a number of topics focused on improving MSK care, as well as exploring working case studies.

Find out more.

Musculoskeletal and Arthritis News

Potential ARMA local network in South Wales

There are several ARMA local networks within the UK and we would like to explore the potential for setting up such a network within South Wales.The initial stage will be arranging a meeting to gauge local interest in such a group and share ideas as to how it can develop.  Please contact David Byfield (University of South Wales) and/or  and Mary Cowern (Arthritis Care Wales) to find out more.

Public Health England launch 'One you' campaign

One You is a ground-breaking new campaign from Public Health England to help adults across the country avoid future diseases caused by our lifestyles. Behaviours such as eating too much unhealthy food, drinking more alcohol than is recommended, continuing to smoke and not being active enough are responsible for around 40% of all deaths in England, and costs the NHS more than £11 billion a year. Yet reduced health in later life is not inevitable. Older people can live as well as young people by making small changes to their habits and lifestyles now.To stay healthy, it's recommended to do ...

New ARMA leaflet released

ARMA released a new A5 leaflet today (click here to open leaflet) to support its activity to promote good musculoskeletal health.  The leaflet features key messages on what is needed to provide the right care for musculoskeletal conditions, in the right place, at the right time.  ARMA members contributed to the leaflet, and member logos are displayed on one side of it.

New report released: Is welfare to work, working well?

On Thursday 26 May 2016, the Work Foundation launched a report “Is welfare to work, working well?” [click to open PDF document] focussing on how current welfare-to-work provision is working for those whose health may be a barrier to working, and highlighting how support might be improved going forward. The report makes a number of recommendations around the forth-coming Health and Work Programme and the upcoming Green Paper. The report highlighted how the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) process to determine eligibility has been a subject of concern in its structure and format, with incorrect and appealed decisions feeding feelings of mistrust ...

Summary of the Fibromyalgia event in the Parliament

On the 11th May 2016, a Fibromyalgia Awareness event took place in Parliament, hosted by Andrea Jenkyns MP, and organised by Fibromyalgia Action UK (FMA UK).The event was well attended by MPs, researchers, healthcare professionals, students and people living with fibromyalgia, their families and carers. There will be some exciting outcomes of this event resulting in greater collaboration of different stakeholders in the fibromyalgia field: patient organisations, healthcare professionals, researchers and policy makers.During the event Dr Toby Garrood, a consultant from the Guy’s Hospital fibromyalgia clinic, gave an overview of the award-winning and excellent fibromyalgia multidisciplinary service, which can act ...

Three Vacancies at Arthritis Research UK

Lifestyles policy implementation managerLocation: Public Health England, London Hours: Full time – 35 hours per week Salary: £46 – 50k + benefits Contract type: 24 months fixed term Closing date: Sunday 5 June 2016 Find out more >Research evaluation managerLocation: London or Chesterfield Hours: Full-time (35 hrs) or part-time Salary: £38,000–41,000 + benefits Contract type: Full-time, permanent Closing date: Sunday 12 June 2016Find out more >Senior public health analystLocation: Public Health England, London Hours: Full time, 35 hours per week Salary: £36 – 40k + benefits Contract type: 24 months fixed term Closing date: ...

Arthritis champions campaign, Scotland

By the time the polls closed, 93 candidates from across all major parties had agreed to become Arthritis Champions. 39 Arthritis Champions have been elected, 30% of all MSPs. This gives us a sizeable base of support to build on within the Scottish Parliament over the next 5 years.  A third of the main ruling parliamentary party (SNP) are committed to our manifesto.During the campaign, nearly 350 supporters across Scotland emailed their election candidates. 3121 emails were sent to candidates asking them to be Arthritis Champions.We are extremely keen to ensure that those MSPs that promised to be champions whilst ...

Shine a Spotlight on RA

Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Week 2016NRAS will be hosting its RA Awareness Week (RAAW) 2016 from 13th to 19th June this year. The focus of this week will be on the theme 'Spotlight on RA'. The campaign will have two different elements, for those unaware of RA and NRAS and for those who are living with RA. You can read more them on our RA Awareness Week page.NRAS has produced three awareness week posters, available to highlight three very important aspects of RA •    The cardiovascular risk •    The hidden symptom of depression  •    The risk of developing RA through ...

International EDS Symposium, New York

The International Ehlers-Danlos Symposium convened in New York at the beginning of EDS Awareness Month with a view to exploring developments in research and treatment of the various types of EDS. GPs, physiotherapists, rheumatologists, surgeons, OTs, geneticists, charity representatives, patient experts, non-profit organisations etc., were all given an equal opportunity to come to the microphone and voice their concerns, agreements and questions. The information, discussion and presentations shared in New York will be used by working groups tasked with putting a framework in place to facilitate the building of a revised EDS nosology; better defining each subtype and management of its ...

LUPUS UK on BSR’s Roadmap to Improve Care

….for people living with rare rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions.The British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) has launched a report setting out a programme of work to enhance care for people with rare rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions.A collaborative approach to improving outcomes in Rare Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal diseases builds on a national workshop hosted by the BSR in November 2015, which brought together a range of stakeholders to help raise the priority of rare rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions and improve patient care.A key theme to emerge from the workshop was the need for greater cross-sector collaboration and this report sets out a ...

World Lupus Day 2016 Report

This year’s World Lupus Day was very successful, receiving a lot of support and engagement from our members and other supporters. LUPUS UK hosted a couple of large events to support the campaign this year.On Saturday 7th May we hosted a Lupus Information Day in Glasgow. The event was attended by approximately 130 people and featured presentations from guest speakers about a variety of ‘lupus-related’ topics.The presentations were:“THE WORK OF LUPUS UK” - Chris Maker, Director LUPUS UK“LUPUS TREATMENTS NEW AND OLD” & “LUPUS IN PREGNANCY – WHAT ARE THE CONCERNS?” - Dr Gillian Roberts, Consultant Rheumatologist, Royal Alexandra Hospital, ...

Guest Blog: Solving the puzzle of Musculoskeletal Service transformation

by Professor Peter Kay, National Clinical Director for Musculoskeletal Services for NHS England. I was asked to write a blog to raise the profile of my MSK work supported by the Long-Term Conditions Team and, through the cryptic labyrinth of various schemes and initiatives, share with you my thoughts on how we can support sustainable, cost-effective transformation whilst still championing the more person-centred approach. Easy task right? Increasingly we are faced with the challenge of implementing population-level interventions in a bid to tackle unwarranted variation within our local areas. At the same time, many of us are striving to strike a balance that ...

A collaborative approach to improving outcomes

...in Rare Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal diseasesEarlier this month BSR launched report setting out a programme of work to enhance the care for people with rare rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions.The report comes at an important time for rare diseases. Two years on from the launch of the UK Rare Disease Strategy, much of the focus has been on Genomics and the 80% of all rare diseases that have a genetic origin. However, BSR believes that greater priority should be given to the non-hereditary rare conditions, of which the rare inflammatory and autoimmune diseases are a very important component. These related conditions ...

Shared learning workshops in Greater Manchester

Peer Support and Supporting Self ManagementNational Voices' Wellbeing Our Way programme and Macc are hosting two shared learning workshops bringing together people working in charities, wider health and care organisations, and those with lived experience from across Greater Manchester to develop approaches which enable people to live well.These are a great opportunity for shared learning between staff working directly with people with long term health needs, as well as those who are commissioning and developing these approaches.Read more here. How Does the EU Affect Health and Wellbeing in the UK? National Voices has compiled a briefing to ...

Effective role of Fracture Liaison Services highlighted

Fracture Liaison Services are an effective way to prevent further fragility fractures and save the NHS money, a new report from the Royal College of Physicians says. But the study also reveals that most services are not currently funded to match the level of patient need.Click here to read the FLS-DB facilities audit - FLS breakpoint: opportunities for improving patient care following a fragility fractureAnne Thurston, Head of Policy at the National Osteoporosis Society said: "We have long championed the role Fracture Liaison Services play in preventing fragility fractures, saving the NHS money and improving the quality of people's lives."Osteoporosis ...

Spotlight on Prevention: Support for STP footprints

The development of Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) will require local health and care partners to work together in new and different ways. National health and care bodies are working closely with STP footprints to support them to do this. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, National Osteoporosis Society and ARMA contributed to the guidance for STP footprints. This page on the NHS England website contains some support tools and guidance for STP footprint leads and their teams.

Arthritis Care Week round-up, May 2016

Arthritis Care Week hit the headlines in May.We launched our survey of over 2000 people living with arthritis, challenged the myth of arthritis as an inevitable condition of old age, shared stories and gained politicians support.Visit www.arthritiscare.org.uk/acweek to read Arthritis Care's round-up of the week. 

Rheumatoid Arthritis Medical Research Initiative

Last week I picked up the attached leaflet at Poole Hospital. It is about an initiative to study rheumatoid arthritis (RA) through close relatives of those who have this disease, but do not have the disease themselves. This study aim to identify the risk factors for developing RA and so find ways to prevent it. All people need to do is to complete a questionnaire and give a blood sample.Download the leaflet as PDF document. By detecting any hereditary tendency for RA, such research may help people and their offspring in the decades ahead, because the earlier it is ...

BSR launches roadmap to improve care for people living with rare conditions

On Wednesday 11th May 2016, The British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) launched a report setting out a programme of work to enhance care for people with rare rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions.A collaborative approach to improving outcomes in Rare Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal diseases builds on a national workshop hosted by the BSR in November 2015, which brought together a range of stakeholders to help raise the priority of rare rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions and improve patient care.A key theme to emerge from the workshop was the need for greater cross-sector collaboration and this report sets out a number of recommendations, including ...

Rheumatology community welcomes breakthrough decision for people living with Lupus

Lupus: a disease where the body attacks itself.In the month that saw the arrival of World Lupus Day, the British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) strongly welcomes the recent decision by NICE to recommend Belimumab be available as a treatment option for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE).Lupus is a disabling and life threatening autoimmune disease in which the body's own immune system attacks and damages healthy tissues and organs throughout the body. This recommendation will enable people living with lupus to access this new treatment, if they have active disease that has not been controlled by other medications.In response to this announcement, ...

PMRGCA UK AGM and Members' Day 2016

Join us on Wednesday 15 June for our 2016 AGM and Members' Day As in previous years, the day will start with our charity AGM after which we will hold our Members’ Day, with the opportunity to hear from two excellent speakers, have a chat and share experiences over lunch and take part in small group discussions. President of PMRGCAuk, Professor Bhaskar Dasgupta, Consulting Rheumatologist, will be speaking first about the new GCA guidelines and the fast-track pathway (FTP) piloted at the Southend University Hospital NHS Trust.   Trustee Dr Kate Gilbert is our second speaker. Many of you will have read the first ...

What People Living with Arthritis in Scotland Want from their Politicians

In January-February this year Arthritis Care Scotland (ACS) undertook a survey of people living with arthritis, which would inform the ACS manifesto for the Scottish Parliament elections.  In addition to questions about health and support, the survey asked respondents what they wanted from the next Scottish Parliament. The result is five key steps:Improved understanding by MSPs and the public of what it means to live with arthritisSupport for specialist NHS servicesSupport for helping people with arthritis to manage their own condition, particularly in a community environmentA flexible and humane system of welfare benefits which takes into account the reality of ...

Policy position on self-referral to physiotherapy

Physiotherapy helps to reduce pain and restore movement for people with a musculoskeletal condition. Self-referral to physiotherapy is a system which allows a person to refer themselves directly to a physiotherapist without needing a referral from a GP. Pilots have demonstrated that self-referral to physiotherapy is popular amongst patients and can reduce waiting times. It is also associated with improved health outcomes, is safe and cost effective. Despite this, only a third of Clinical Commissioning Groups in England currently enable people with arthritis or back pain to self-refer to a physiotherapist. Arthritis Research UK is keen to promote wider take-up of self-referral ...

Manifesto and Arthritis Champion campaign in Scotland

Ahead of the Scottish Parliamentary election on 5th May 2016, Arthritis Research UK has developed a manifesto for Scotland, and is running a campaign giving people with arthritis the chance to ask their local election candidates to become Arthritis Champions, fighting for a fair deal for people living in pain.The Deputy leader of Scottish National Party (prior to the May elections), John Swinney has become a champion, as has the Scottish Labour leader Kezia DugdaleOver 2800 campaign e-mails from constituents have been sent to candidates56 candidates have become Arthritis ChampionsPlease spread the word and encourage people to support the campaign: ...

Helping people to escape the misery of chronic joint pain ­– A musculoskeletal network in action.

by Professor Michael Hurley, Clinical Director, Musculoskeletal Programme, Health Innovation Network South London Along with many others in the musculoskeletal community, I get a tired of hearing about other long term conditions which continuously feature in the headlines – both in national media and NHS policy. Poor old ‘common’ joint pain is neither sexy nor headline-grabbing, but we all know how much it impairs the quality of life – none more so than the people who suffer it. In the musculoskeletal programme of the Health Innovation Network (South London’s Academic Health Science Network http://www.hin-southlondon.org/clinical-areas/musculoskeletal) we have been focusing on improving community management ...

EULAR International News and e-Breakthrough Magazine

The next Annual European Congress of Rheumatology – EULAR 2016 – is at the Excel Centre, London 8th-11th June 2016.Since its introduction in 2000, the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology has become the primary platform for exchange of scientific and clinical information in Europe.The conference’s scientific programme has now been published and the itinerary planner is now available on the website.See http://www.congress.eular.org/ for full details. e-breakthrough magazineThe April 2016 edition of EULAR PARE's e-breakthrough is out; click here to download it in PDF.This issue features articles on the meeting of CEOs of PARE organisations; Finland's engagement programme; a knowledge transfer ...

The European Union: How does it affect health and wellbeing in the UK?

On June 23 2016 each of us will have to make a potentially momentous decision. It will be a choice for us as individuals, and here at National Voices we won’t be advising our members to vote one way or the other in the EU referendum.The EU has somehow become a subject of impassioned debate, dividing families and colleagues as much as parties. As far as health is concerned, whether Britain would be better served by remaining or leaving can only be a matter of speculation. But it can at least be informed speculation, and that means understanding what relevance ...

The General Practice Forward View - NHS England

The General Practice Forward View, published in April 2016, sets out a plan, backed by a multi-billion pound investment, to stabilise and transform general practice.It has been developed with Health Education England and in discussion with the Royal College of GPs and other GP representatives.It commits to an extra £2.4 billion a year to support general practice services by 2020/21. This means spending will rise from £9.6 billion in 2015/16 to over £12 billion by 2021 – a 14 percent real terms increase.The plan also contains specific, practical and funded steps to grow and develop workforce, drive efficiencies in workload ...

Invitation to FMA UK event in Parliament

InvitationTo Fibromyalgia Action UK event in the Parliament Marking the International Fibromyalgia Awareness DayHosted by Andrea Jenkyns MP11 May, 3 pm – 5 pm Portcullis House, Boothroyd RoomCome along to this event to mark with us the International Fibromyalgia Awareness Day and to hear from interesting speakers and experts in the field:Andrea Jenkyns MP, member of the Health Select Committee,Dr Kim Lawson, a research pharmacologist with an international reputation in Drug Discovery Research, leading the Fibromyalgia Research Team at the Sheffield Hallam University, Chair of the Medical Advisory Board at Fibromyalgia Action UK,Ella Vine, Executive Officer at Fibromyalgia Action UK,Patients, ...

Introducing Scleroderma & Raynaud's UK

Scleroderma & Raynaud's UK went live on the 31st March 2016 following a merge of the Raynaud's & Scleroderma Association and Scleroderma Society.Scleroderma and Raynaud's UK is the only charity dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by Scleroderma and Raynaud's.We exist to improve awareness and understanding of these conditions, to support those affected, and ultimately to find a cure.Visit our new website to find out more about us and the work we do: www.sruk.co.uk.If you would like to update our details on your website then please get in touch with Amy Baker (amy.baker@sruk.co.uk) for our logo and charity ...


ARMA is the alliance 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.