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 33 member organisations ranging from specialised support groups for rare diseases to major research charities and national professional bodies.

Arthritis News

CEO update by Sue Brown, ARMA

The general election is now in full swing. In amongst the Brexit debate, the NHS has been getting quite a bit of attention, albeit somewhat narrow in focus. I hope that after the election, whoever is in government, this debate will widen so that we can talk about health, not just the NHS, about more than hospitals, doctors and nurses.

One other thing an election brings is restrictions on what government bodies are allowed to do. For me that has meant lots of cancelled meetings, including one between the Minister leading on prevention and ARMA members. As soon as we know who will be responsible after the election, we will request the meeting is rescheduled. Prevention is more important in MSK than many people think, so we need to maintain its profile in this agenda.

There’s a lot going on in the NHS at the moment. At times it can feel difficult to keep up, but it also means there are lots of opportunities. Take the recent ARMA roundtable on pain (look out for the report coming soon). Some of those involved have been working on the issue for decades and during that time little has changed – in England at least; Scotland has made a bit more progress. Despite this, at the end of the afternoon there was a feeling of optimism, a feeling that some things in the NHS are moving in the right direction, that there are opportunities to get pain on the agenda in the right way.

I look forward to working with ARMA members to capitalise on these opportunities, not just around pain but also to drive MSK further up the NHS agenda until it has the profile it really deserves. MSK isn’t just doctors and nurses; it’s across the whole system. People with MSK conditions need support from a wide range of professionals, and they need them to work together effectively, even when not located in the same place or employed by the same person. Change is needed at every level – better public health and prevention services; support from primary and community health, and in hospital. People need this to join up seamlessly. They need everything from Primary Care Networks to transforming outpatients programmes to think MSK and put the patient at the centre.

The ARMA annual lecture is always a highlight of my November calendar. This year, as well as an excellent lecture on mental health from Brendon Stubbs, I had the privilege to use the opportunity to thank Peter Kay on behalf of the whole MSK community for his six years of hard work as National Clinical Director for MSK. In this time, he has worked tirelessly to drive MSK up the agenda, with a high degree of success. It’s in the NHS Long Term Plan, featured heavily in the Prevention Green Paper and there is now an MSK programme within Public Health England. Peter was a fantastic partner to ARMA and leaves a strong legacy for his yet to be announced successor.

However, there is still much to do. Whatever the political landscape after the election, I’m looking forward to working with ARMA members and a whole range of stakeholders to continue this drive for change. I’d like to thank our newsletter readers for your support in 2019. I hope you get a break at some point over the festive season, and I look forward to working with you all in 2020.

Public Health England has published the Productive Healthy Ageing Profile data update for November 2019.

This tool provides data on a wide range of topics relevant to healthy ageing. Indicators can be examined at local, regional or national level.

The aim of this tool is to support PHE productive healthy ageing policy and inform public health leads and the wider public health system about relevant key issues.

Many indicators are also now available for the latest local authority and clinical commissioning group geographies.  

Dates for the next Versus Arthritis MSK Champion programme are now live on their website!

Following the successful launch of Versus Arthritis’s Musculoskeletal Champions programme in 2018, they’re recruiting the third cohort of inspirational leaders committed to championing change in musculoskeletal (MSK) health care.

If your application to this programme is successful, you will be coached to develop your personal leadership skills, and drive forward a service improvement project with an MSK focus.

Applications open from 30 March 2020.
Find out more here.

NICE guideline: Safe prescribing and withdrawal management of prescribed drugs associated with dependence and withdrawal

The final scope and equality impact assessment for this NICE guideline have now been published, along with all the stakeholder comments that were received during consultation and our responses to these comments.

NICE identified ARMA as a stakeholder for this topic and ARMA is able to comment on the draft guideline when it is available. Please contact us should you have an interest in this topic and are a member.

 

Workplace health: long-term sickness absence and capability to work

NICE published this final guideline on the NICE website. You can also find the supporting evidence, tools and resources as well as all the stakeholder comments NICE received during consultation and the responses to these comments.

The recommendations from this guideline have been included in the NICE Pathway on Managing long-term sickness absence and capability to work, which brings together everything NICE said on Workplace health: long-term sickness absence and capability to work in an interactive flowchart.

If you have any further queries, please contact workplacehealthLTSUpdate@nice.org.uk.

Medical Devices Regulation from 2020

On 26 May 2017 the Medical Devices Regulation (MDR 2017/745) was published, with the aim of replacing the current Medical Devices Directive (MDD 93/43/EC). Following a transition period of three years, this regulation will be applied in full from 26 May 2020.

The BOA has recently published its position statement on the MDR. They welcome the drive to improve the rigour and regulation of novel devices and procedures for the benefit of patients. However, the BOA raises some particular concerns with regard to legacy devices, regulation of different types of device, value of registry data in evaluating devices and long term monitoring. The BOA’s position statement is available here.

NHS England waiting times for elective surgery

NHS England waiting times for September 2019 were published and showed the worst performance this decade for several metrics. It is now a full five years since the waiting time targets were last met for the Trauma & Orthopaedic specialty, and over 90,000 people had been waiting over eighteen weeks for treatment.

The BOA published a statement highlighting their concerns at the growing problem, which can be found on the BOA website, here.

Can you help us improve healthcare for people with fibromyalgia in the UK?

Professor Gary Macfarlane and Dr Rosemary Hollick of the PACFiND study team are looking for healthcare professionals who see patients with fibromyalgia to take part in a short online survey.

This survey will help PACFiND understand current provision of NHS services for people with fibromyalgia.

PACFiND (PAtient-centred Care for Fibromyalgia: New pathway Design) is a project aimed at developing new pathways of care for people with fibromyalgia. 

Please click here to complete this survey. Thank you for your help.

Draft Scope Consultation

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has been asked to consider an appraisal of guselkumab for treating active psoriatic arthritis after inadequate response to DMARDs ID1658.

NICE invited organisations to take part in the consultation to discuss the draft remit and scope. The organisations selected as stakeholders are listed here and the draft scope that is being consulted on can be found here.

The consultation closes on Wednesday 18 December 2019. If you have any queries regarding this scoping exercise or would like to be involved you can contact Michelle Adhemar, Scoping Project Manager at scopingta@nice.org.uk