• 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 from 1st June 2016.

The current 020 7842 0910 line will continue to be in use until 31st May, after which time all calls will be forwarded to this new Skype for Business number for a short period.

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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.

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ARMA Benefits Survey Results 2014-2015

A survey of people with MSK and who have undertaken disability benefit assessments.

See the results, respondents’ comments and our key findings.

Musculoskeletal and Arthritis News

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 ...

BSR - Raising the awareness of RMDs

Last week, BSR met with the Department of Health to discuss working together to raise awareness of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. In a productive meeting, we discussed the Rare Disease Forum report detailing progress on the implementation of the UK Strategy for Rare Diseases, along with a forthcoming BSR report, which is due to be published shortly. As part of this, we stressed that rare autoimmune diseases, as an umbrella group, are an important but overlooked part of the strategy to date which has so far focused on the 80% of rare diseases that have an identified genetic cause. ...

World Lupus Day 2016

World Lupus Day will take place on 10th May 2016. This is the first year that the event has been organised by the World Lupus Federation, a coalition of lupus patient organisations from around the world, united to improve the quality of life for people affected by lupus. LUPUS UK is proud to be a member of this new coalition.The theme of this year’s campaign is ‘Lupus Knows No Boundaries’.  This is to highlight lupus as a global health problem that affects people of all nationalities, races, ethnicities, genders and ages. Lupus can affect any part of the body in ...

NRAS CEO presented with MBE by the Queen

On 13th April 2016, the NRAS CEO, Ailsa Bosworth, went to Windsor Castle to collect her MBE from the Queen for services to charity, accompanied by her family.We are delighted that Ailsa has been recognised in this way. Latest NRAS Policy NewsIt's been a busy month for our Policy & Public Affairs Officer, Conn, with changes to prescription charges, junior doctor strikes, chronic fatigue and a documentary on PIP assessments all making the headlines. Read more about our work with the Prescription Charges Coalition and National Voices and much more in our news section.

Rheumy teams running for NRAS

Chris Deighton, one of NRAS’s Medical Advisors, is once again raising funds for NRAS. Having taken part in the Great North Run for several years (in fancy dress), he decided 2016 was the year for a different challenge!On the 22nd April, Chris started trekking the Inca Trail for us – a challenge that has been on Chris’s ‘bucket list’ for a long time. Chris’s JustGiving page.Pauline Mark is a Rheumatology Specialist Nurse at Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, and recently took part in the Sheffield Half Marathon on 10th April. Pauline was supporting three charities, including NRAS, and raised just ...

GP on a Bike

Vineet Joshi is a GP based in Wantage, Oxford. Vineet and his friend Rob are cycling 920 miles in July, from John O’Groats to Land’s End.Vineet’s inspiration comes from a little boy Alex who is just 9 and lives with JIA. Alex entered one of our JIA & Me art competitions, and after seeing his wonderful piece of art depicting what JIA feels like to live with as a 9-year-old boy, Vineet took up the challenge to raise £5,000.To read more about Dr Joshi’s fundraising challenge and about Alex, please visit either Vineet’s JustGiving page or his Facebook page – ...

ARMA Member Stands at the BSR Conference

The ARMA members’ colours were on full display in the charity village last week in Glasgow.Browse the gallery below and click to see full size photos.Photos include Arthritis Action, Arthritis Care, Lupus UK, FMA-UK, HMSA, NASS, NRAS, PMRGCA UK/Scotland, NOS, SR-UK and Anoushka at the ARMA desk.      

World AS Day and NASS Fab At 40

NASS “Fab At 40” runs from 1 to 14 May 2016. During that time we will be working hard to raise awareness of ankylosing spondylitis (AS).ThunderclapWe have a Thunderclap set to go on Saturday 7 May, which is World AS Day. We do urge all ARMA members to sign our Thunderclap to help raise awareness of AS.https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/40185-nass-fab-at-40TwibbonAnother way of supporting NASs during “Fab At 40” fortnight is to add our Twibbon to your Facebook or twitter profile.  NASS stands in HospitalsWe are very grateful to the hospitals that have supported our NASS Fab At 40, by hosting NASS stands in their ...

MSc/PGDip in Musculoskeletal Medicine

Loughborough University and the British Institute of Musculoskeletal Medicine are collaborating to deliver an MSc in Musculoskeletal Medicine that covers the theory and practice of this speciality area. Read more here.

PORTSStaff Visit Arthritis Care

14/04/2016 The Musculoskeletal Clinical Service Centre (CSC) at Portsmouth Hospitals consists of the Trauma, Orthopaedic, Rheumatology and Chronic Pain specialities. Recently, the CSC visited the Arthritis Care charity to discuss their joint efforts to support those living with arthritis, both locally and nationally.

Commissioning a Fracture Liaison Service

#FLSChampions Dr Zoe Cole giving a presentation on how the National Osteoporosis Society was instrumental in developing a successful business case for a Fracture Liaison Service. Risk of breaking a bone depends on where you live Funded by the National Osteoporosis Society, a study showed that the risk of having a fracture varied by geography and socio-economic status. Professor Nick Harvey and the team at Southampton University’s Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, undertook an analysis of the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink database and calculated the risk of an individual experiencing a fracture. They found that there were marked differences in fracture rates ...

NICE new guidelines for lower back pain

The British Acupuncture Council are extremely frustrated and disappointed about the new guidelines from NICE which removes acupuncture as a recommendation for lower back pain. We believe the basis of removing acupuncture is based on some very questionable evidence interpretation. Read the Guardian's announcement about it here. The consultation period on the new guidelines is open until 5th May 2016. Please sign this petition opposing the new guidelines, and send it on to others too. Petition on www.change.org. The BAcC's public statement on this is as follows: Nick Pahl, CEO of the British Acupuncture Council says: ‘It is extremely regrettable these ...

Vacancy: Policy and public affairs assistant at Arthritis Research UK

Policy and public affairs assistantArthritis Research UK are looking for a highly skilled policy and public affairs assistant, to join our policy and public affairs team. About the role: You will be working within the external affairs directorate, where the policy and public affairs team has a vital role in driving forward the charity’s aim of achieving a tangible, positive change in the lives of people with arthritis by 2020. We seek to influence policy by identifying factors that must be changed, by Government or others, to make a positive difference in the quality of life of people with ...

Framework to Empower Patients

British Society for Rheumatology publishes framework to empower patients to take control of their care.A lack of national data and indicators in the UK makes it difficult for rheumatologists to demonstrate effective care for patients with inflammatory arthritis. This also leaves patients without the information they need to take control of their care. As a result it is difficult for commissioners and those designing services to understand rheumatology and consequently, chronic and complex care of rheumatic diseases has a low priority.These are the key findings from a British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) visit to the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and ...

NASS turns 40 this year - Great North Run & 300-mile cycle

NASS turns 40 this year, and two of our very own are helping us to celebrate in style!NASS trustee Dr Karl Gaffney, from Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, is spreading the birthday cheer across the pond as he embarks on a 300 mile cycle to Paris on 20-23 July. You can donate via his JustGiving page, or by texting CLTP followed by your amount to 70070.Our Chief Executive Debbie Cook is also taking on her own massive challenge as she tackles the Great North Run on 11 September. Read more of Debbie’s story on her JustGiving page.Visit our website to ...

British Society for Rheumatology - March items

Best Practice Awards – winning case studies now availableThe winning case studies of the BSR 2016 Best Practice Awards in Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Disorders (RMDs) are now available to download on the BSR website. The case studies showcase the range of innovative approaches being taken in the delivery of clinical rheumatology services across the UK. All 14 winning projects were able to demonstrate improved outcomes for people with RMDs, better coordination of care and reduced costs. Each entry underwent robust economic analysis, which looked at the impact of the services on clinical, financial and patient reported outcomes. Site visits were ...

Pain Alliance Europe's Red Balloon Project

Pain Alliance Europe are launching a Red Balloon campaign in early April 2016.PAE members will be encouraged to make chronic pain visible and considered, by staging photographs with groups of emblematic red balloons, and exploding balloons - "releasing the pain" on social media posts.The red balloon is a metaphor for the growth of chronic pain from a tiny tingle to an explosive impact.Look out for the red balloons and the #releasethepain tags on Instagram and Facebook.

Realising the Value of People and Communities

The “At the Heart of Health” report, from the Health Foundation and Nesta, explores the value of people and communities in healthcare, in the context of, and in support of the NHS Five Year Forward View vision. Realising the Value of: Peer support Self-management education Health coaching Group activities to support health and wellbeing Asset-based approaches in a health and wellbeing context What are person-centred and community-centred approached for health and wellbeing? How have these approaches developed? Click to download and open the report document (PDF, 865kb), an overview of the evidence and benefits and their impact.

Young Scientist Prize & FLS Champions’ Summit

Young Scientist Prize 2016This is a £4,500 award recognising the outstanding work of a young investigator pursuing research into osteoporosis and/or fragility fractures. The winner also has the opportunity to speak at Osteoporosis 2016, our leading conference, in November.The award consists of a £4,000 research grant to be used to further the research career of the recipient and a £500 recognition gift.Young Scientist Prize 2016 on YouTube.Dr Fjola Johannesdottir, 2014 Young Scientist Prize Winner says: “The grant has given me the valuable opportunity to carry out two studies. It has also enabled me to collaborate with the world leading Bouxsein ...

Edgar Stene Prize 2016 UK Winner

The winner of the Edgar Stene Prize 2016 has been announced, and ARMA would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Simon Stones.Simon was chosen out of 16 entries from the UK to be put forward to the overall Europe-wide competition on the topic of "Living with a rheumatic or musculoskeletal disease (RMD): How I take action to enjoy life to the full”. You can read Simon’s winning essay as well as the entries awarded 2nd and 3rd prize on the EULAR PARE website.The Edgar Stene Prize 2017 will be launched at the forthcoming EULAR congress in London, 8-11th June ...

Chief Executive Vacancy – British Acupuncture Council, West London

The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) is the leading organisation for traditional acupuncture in the UK with around 3,000 members. The BAcC is a non-profit membership organisation with a turnover of around £1.6m and reserves in line with the Governing Board’s target. The BAcC is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.You will deliver our current strategic objectives for 2015-8, and set our future strategy. It is vital that our members are properly served, their views represented, and that they are proportionately regulated. For this to happen, you will need to ensure that the BAcC maintains persuasive relationships with government and opinion ...

Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases approved as Lupus Centre of Excellence

LUPUS UK has named The Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD), as a LUPUS UK Centre of Excellence in recognition of the Bath-based hospital’s multi-disciplinary approach to diagnosis, treatment and management of the condition. The RNHRD, part of the Royal United Hospital, is one of only six centres in the UK to achieve this accolade. A plaque marking the announcement was unveiled by local celebrity Dr Phil Hammond on Tuesday 1st March 2016.Sue Brown, Consultant Nurse and member of the Connective Tissue Disease (CTD) service at the RNHRD has been a cornerstone of the Trust’s clinical service for lupus ...


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.