This is a category taken from the full feed of Musculoskeletal and Arthritis news provided by ARMA's members.
  • 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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In May 2017, BSR and the RCGP have launched a joint Quality Improvement project to improve care for people living with inflammatory arthritis. The joint project will deliver a suite of online resources to help improve pathways between primary and secondary care, with a focus on reducing delays to diagnosis and creating standardised, shared care agreements. The recent National Clinical Audit for rheumatoid and early inflammatory arthritis revealed delays in referral from primary care to specialist treatment for people with suspected inflammatory arthritis, with only 17% of cases being referred within the three days recommended by NICE. Early diagnosis and treatment is crucial to prevent joint and organ damage and reduce potential disability.

Furthermore, once people are established on a treatment plan, their care is shared between primary and specialist care through joint agreements on prescribing and monitoring of high-risk drugs such as Methotrexate.  These shared care agreements are numerous and vary from locality to locality; there is therefore an opportunity to reduce risk by standardising and streamlining these agreements.

This one-year initiative will be led by the newly appointed RCGP Clinical Champion for Inflammatory Arthritis, Dr Danny Murphy, a GP principal in Devon with a special interest in rheumatology, who also works as a part-time staff-grade rheumatologist at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. In addition to various research projects in rheumatology, Danny has also advised on the development of the recent BSR guideline on Biologics for the Treatment of Axial Spondyloarthritis.

Inflammatory arthritis affects close to a million people in the UK and includes conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Axial Spondyloarthritis and Psoriatic Arthritis. This project, in conjunction with the ongoing work through the national audit, will make a significant impact on care for people living with these conditions.

Commenting on the collaboration, BSR President, Dr Peter Lanyon, said:

“This new collaboration between BSR and the RCGP is a really important strategic initiative, aiming to improve the care pathways for people who live with inflammatory arthritis. We greatly welcome the appointment of Dr Murphy as the first ever RCGP Clinical Champion for Inflammatory Arthritis. This will undoubtedly raise awareness of these conditions across the RCGP membership and beyond. It’s a great opportunity for clinicians in primary and secondary care to work more closely together to develop national solutions to help reduce delays to diagnosis and deliver better co-ordinated care.

This is a view echoed by Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the RCGP, who stated:

“We’re delighted that the College is partnering with the BSR to raise awareness of this important clinical area in general practice. This collaborative project aims to support our members and their practice teams in the identification and appropriate management for patients living with Inflammatory Arthritis throughout the UK. I look forward to being involved in this project, and following its progress and the impact it has on GPs, our teams and our patients.”

Expressing his honour at being appointed, Dr Danny Murphy, the new Clinical Champion remarked, “I am very proud to be the RCGP’s first Clinical Champion for Inflammatory Arthritis, and am looking forward to working closely with the RCGP and BSR over the next year. Our aim for this project is to empower primary care practitioners to deliver the best possible care to patients with Inflammatory Arthritis, by focusing on eLearning, curriculum updates and engagement with commissioners.”

We’ve just added to the ARMA website two links to recent webinar presentations: the “New models of MSK Masterclass”, presented by Christian Verrinder and Giles Hazan; and the “Work & Health MSK webinar,” lead by Tony Woolf in participation with ARUK and BSR.

Dr Christian Verrinder and Dr Giles Hazan share aspects of their experience to date in MSK commissioning, including their thoughts on: process, structure, design, procurement, implementation and review. Their webinar explores how we can build on current service provision for people with MSK conditions in order to identify how and where current services and support can be improved and reflects how this new programme of work has influenced the commissioning of MSK services.

Professor Tony Woolf’s Work & Health webinar looked at how we can build on the current service provision for people with MSK conditions in order to identify how and where current services and support can be improved.

These webinar recordings are the latest of several expert presentations produced by a range of health organisations, and made available to us by the team at NHS England Long Term Conditions.

Others available from the last six months include:

  • Joint Pain Advisor webinar
  • Getting It Right First Time Masterclass
  • Clinical Networks: Transforming MSK Care
  • Physiotherapy in Primary Care
  • The Musculoskeletal Health Questionnaire


Transport for London (TfL) is launching the ‘Please offer me a seat’ scheme for people who find it difficult to stand when using public transport. The badge and accompanying card were created following requests from customers who struggle to get a seat because their need is not immediately apparent to other travellers. The badge and card remove the awkwardness of customers having to explain their need for a seat to others.

Last autumn, TFL held a six week trial with 1,200 people to test the new badge and card. More than 72 per cent of journeys were found to be easier as a result of the badge, and 98 per cent of people taking part said they would recommend it to somebody who needed it. As a result, TfL are making the ‘Please offer me a seat’ initiative permanent. The free badge and card are now available through their website, at or by calling on 0343 222 1234.

There are no qualifying criteria – applicants do not need to provide a GP’s note or their medical history. The badge and card can be used across the network, on London Underground, London Overground, Buses, Docklands Light Railway, TfL Rail, Trams and River Services.

Look out for the hashtag #Pleaseoffermeaseat on Twitter, Transport for London would welcome any re-tweets to help spread the word about this important new scheme. To find out more about how they are making London’s transport network more accessible, please visit which includes information about support from staff, maps, guides and leaflets, and other accessible features. You can also follow them on Twitter at @TfLAccess.

Geoffrey Lawton, Stoke ARMA group chair, invites you to:

The HUG/ARMA group meeting on 19th May 2017

at 1pm, in the Lecture room of

Haywood Hospital, Burslem, Stoke on Trent ST6 7AG


Refreshments will be provided from 12:45pm and drinks during the meeting.

A wide range of topics are on the agenda including presentations on all aspects of Arthritis-related treatments.

Restrictions on access to surgery have been in the news again with this Observer article on smokers and obese patients waiting longer for surgery such as hip and knee replacements. In April, the Kings Fund published a report on understanding NHS Financial pressures and what this means for patients. Whereas genito-urinary medicine and district nursing services have seen an impact on access to, and quality of, their services, neonatal and elective hip replacement services were not affected to the same extent by the same pressures. However, for elective hip replacement services, despite having much to celebrate it appears the impact of financial pressures is beginning to show. You can read the details in this blog post.

NASS will be working hard on social media to raise awareness of ankylosing spondylitis on World AS Day and we would really appreciate the support of all ARMA members with shares and retweets of our messages.

We will be using our @NASSchiefexec and @NASSexercise twitter accounts and our Facebook page.


College of Podiatry 6th Podiatric Sports Medicine Conference

13-14 July 2017

From the Directorate of Podiatric Medicine in association with European College of Sports and Exercise Medicine.

The Royal College of Physicians, 11 St Andrews Pl, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4LE 

Click here for course registration details.


The College of Podiatry Annual Conference and Exhibition

16-18 November 2017

ACC Liverpool, Kings Dock, Liverpool L3 4FP


The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists Annual General Meeting

1st July 2017

Hilton Hotel, Tooley Street, London SE1 2BY


Save the date

The 4th BASEM/FSEM Annual SEM Conference will be themed on “Sport and Exercise – Bringing us all together”.

Held at the historic Assembly Rooms in Bath from the 12th – 13th October 2017, the programme this year will deliver high quality, evidence-based learning for both specialists and generalists.

The conference will be delivered in conjunction with the University of Bath, celebrating its 50th anniversary. Arthritis Research UK Centre for Sport Exercise and Osteoarthritis will be delivering key sessions on athletes MSK health and exercise for patients with osteoarthritis. The main specialist session will be delivered by the FSEM on Tendons and Tendonopathy. 

Call for Abstracts

The Institute of Sport and Exercise Medicine (ISEM) is once again supporting the annual Association and Institute Prize for Sport and Exercise Medicine, awarded at the 4th BASEM/FSEM Annual Conference. The organisers would like to invite submissions of abstracts for poster or podium presentation. Research from all clinical aspects of Sport and Exercise Medicine is invited. The deadline for submissions is Friday 18th August 2017.

View full details and the submission process.

Tom Donaldson Prize

BASEM is once again supporting the Tom Donaldson Poster Prize in association with SEMSoc, awarded at the 4th BASEM/FSEM Annual Conference.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 18th AugustView full details and the submission process.


The BackPain show is back – on the 19th and 20th May 2017.

This is the one-stop shop for all those who suffer from back problems along with the health professionals who look after them.

Organised on behalf of Backcare – the National Back Pain Association – the exhibition will feature therapies, products and services associated with the treatment of back pain as well as a range of professional conferences, presentations and seminars.

ARMA will be exhibiting. Come to Stand 27 to see us there.

The National Osteoporosis Society launched its new Message to My Younger Self campaign with a bang this month, earning the charity over 300 pieces of media coverage on TV, radio and national press.

The campaign, which runs throughout the summer until the end of October, is looking to start conversations about bone health between generations and launched with a focus on the need for a healthy, balanced diet.

Some of the key coverage included articles in The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and BBC Health Online, as well as BBC Radio’s Today Programme and Jeremy Vine show.

The National Osteoporosis Society is also revitalising its Stop at One campaign to encourage people to find out if they are at risk of osteoporosis.

Launching in May 2017, the charity will be piloting new campaign collateral (leaflets, posters and scratch cards) in eight fracture clinics across the UK targeting people over the age of 50 with an existing fracture.

The campaign has two main objectives: to encourage people who have broken a bone and are over 50 to ask for more information on osteoporosis and take an online quiz and to educate key staff in fracture clinics to put people at risk of osteoporosis on the correct pathway to a risk assessment.


The latest newsletter from ARMA Portsmouth is now available, published by the Department of Rheumatology at Queen Alexandra Hospital.

This edition features: dates and details of many coming events; Carer resource packs; patient advice; information campaigns; and new projects.

Click here to read or download the ARMA Portsmouth Summer 2017 Newsletter.

NRAS is delighted to announce the launch of a new publication: ‘Medicines in Rheumatoid Arthritis‘.

It is a comprehensive guide to all medicines used in the treatment of RA, including NSAIDs, Steroids, DMARDs, Biologics and Biosimilars. Order your copy today by emailing

Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Week pack

Our RA Awareness week pack is available now! Order your pack today which includes:

  • our ‘Behind The Smile’ pop art poster (A4)
  • Smiley lips, conveniently cut out so that you can take your #behindthesmile photo.
  • S-Factor poster
  • A pencil with grip, for easier writing.
  • A car bumper sticker
  • Fundraising guide
  • plus a series of infographics giving general RA facts and highlighting the differences between Osteoarthritis and RA.

JIA Family Day – 1st July 2017

Our annual JIA Family Day in llkley, West Yorkshire on Saturday 1st July 2017, from 11am – 4pm.

Supervised outdoor adventure fun, join in with building wigwams, pond dipping, team games and a giant fully accessible adventure playground or just relax and soak up the sun, plus have the opportunity to listen to paediatric rheumatology experts and join us for a buffet lunch, everyone in the family is welcome. 

Fully accessible amazing outdoor activities for children and young people, all supervised by Centre staff.  Register on the JIA-at-NRAS page –