This is a category taken from the full feed of Musculoskeletal and Arthritis news provided by ARMA's members.

Arthritis News

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

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  

by Jenny Brodie, Senior Communications & Brand Officer, NASS

Today (01/11/2019) we re-launch our charity as the National Axial Spondyloarthritis Society.

For 43 years the NASS has supported people affected by ankylosing spondylitis. Rheumatologists can now diagnose people using MRI before the disease causes bone changes so treatment can start a lot earlier. They now use the term axial spondyloarthritis (axial SpA), which includes ankylosing spondylitis (AS).

This summer our members voted unanimously in favour of changing our name to reflect these changes. We are still NASS. We are still supporting everyone affected by axial spondyloarthritis. We are still working to empower people to understand and manage their axial spondyloarthritis. We are still working with rheumatologists, physiotherapists, nurses, GPs, MPs and a whole host of others to transform the way axial spondyloarthritis is managed in the UK.

To celebrate our re-launch we have a whole new range of resources. Today we are launching our new range of guides.

You can read more from the NASS website.

Guest blog by Dr Alison Giles, Associate Director for Healthy Ageing, Centre for Ageing Better and Public Health England; and Elaine Rashbrook, Consultant Specialist, Life Course, Public Health England.

In October this year, Public Health England (PHE), together with the Centre for Ageing Better (CfAB) launched the Consensus Statement on Healthy Ageing.  Over 70 organisations, including ARMA, have signed up and pledged to take action on the five principles set out in the Statement.

The average age at which people report a health condition or disability that interferes with daily life is just 62.  With today’s 65-year olds set to live well into their 80s, many of us could face nearly two decades in poor health or living with a disability. This, in turn, could prevent us from working or volunteering for as long as we want or need to, make it more difficult for us to remain living in our own homes and connected to our communities, and make it harder to get out and about and spend time with the people we love.

The best way of ensuring a long life in good health is to have the best start in life, a decent education, a warm and loving home, and an income sufficient to meet our needs[i].

Across the public, private and voluntary sectors, action is needed beyond simply encouraging healthy behaviours. That’s because for the poorest among us, disability-free life expectancy shrinks to just 52 years, and studies consistently show that the quality of our jobs, our homes and the environment around us can make a huge difference to our health – and even our life expectancy.

In a new YouGov survey of people aged 40-60, commissioned by the Centre for Ageing Better and Independent Age, 62% said they worry their physical health will affect their ability to be financially secure, 55% worried it could impact how physically active they can be, and 43% were concerned it could affect the kind of home they could live in when they reach 65.

This is why the following principles, as set out in the Consensus Statement are so important:

  • Putting prevention first and ensuring timely access to health and social care when needed. There are small changes we can all make to increase our likelihood of staying healthy for longer, from stopping smoking and reducing alcohol consumption to eating more healthily and being more physically active.  But these individual actions need to be supplemented by fiscal and economic interventions, which will have a bigger impact on the places in which we live, work and age.[ii]
  • Removing barriers and creating more opportunities for older adults to contribute to society. We want employers to promote health at work, deliver flexible working, and introduce policies to recruit, develop, promote and retain staff of every age. And we want to see more opportunities for people to volunteer and engage with creative, learning and cultural activities.
  • Ensuring good homes and communities to help people remain healthy, active and independent. We want our housing stock to be improved, and new homes built to be accessible and adaptable. People on low incomes should have access to funds to repair and improve homes, and every community should have accessible transport links, good quality green spaces and good quality services and facilities.
  • Narrowing inequalities. This means giving everyone equal access to a great education, good work, a decent home and meaningful social connections, regardless of their wealth or where they live.
  • Challenging ageist and negative language, culture and practices. We must offer a realistic, representative picture of later life that values ageing as a positive and recognises the diversity of backgrounds, experience and ambition amongst older people.

Over the next 12 months, the Centre for Ageing Better and Public Health England will encourage other organisations to sign up, and will take forward a programme of work to build on the momentum of the statement and create action. Working together across partnerships, we can do more to make England a place in which we, our children and grandchildren can all enjoy a long, healthy and disability-free life.

[ii] Marteau, T.M. et al. Increasing healthy life expectancy equitably in England by 5 years by 2035: could it be achieved? The Lancet, 2019. Vol 393, issue 10191.