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

Arthritis News


February 28th was Rare Diseases Day, a day of solidarity for individuals diagnosed with a rare disease. The Scleroderma Society supported this campaign with an article in the Independent focusing on the limitations of living with a rare disease. To view the article click here. Also see our Facebook page.


Digital Ulcer Policy

NHS England have completed a policy on the commissioning Sildenafil and Bosentan for the treatment of digital ulceration in systemic sclerosis in accordance with the criteria outlined in the document, which you can read on the Engage England – Policy and Specification Consultations page, or open/download the PDF document directly.

This is now open for public consultation and the Scleroderma Society have so far developed the following response. Thank you to those who have already fed in their comments. If there are any additional comments that you would like to make then please email them by Monday 20th April 2015 to allow a week for us to collate all responses.


New Website

The Scleroderma Society is delighted to announce the launch of a brand new website providing better support, comprehensive information and engaging material. Take a look here:

image of new scleroderma website

UK’s first Clinical Standards for Fracture Liaison Service (FLS)

National Osteoporosis Society siteThe National Osteoporosis Society is leading an expert authoring group to develop the UK’s first Clinical Standards for Fracture Liaison Services in collaboration with the British Orthopaedic Association and British Geriatric Society. We are very grateful to everyone who provided feedback during the consultation period. The Authoring Group are now in the process of carefully reviewing the comments submitted and we hope to launch the final Standards shortly.

We would like to invite ARMA organisations to endorse the final version of the Clinical Standards.
By endorsing the document and permitting the National Osteoporosis Society to add your organisation’s logo to the document, you can help raise standards of care across the UK.

If you are interested in this or you have any questions please contact the Policy and Public Affairs Team at

Vitamin D and Bone Health in Children and Young People

Following the publication of our adult Vitamin D and Bone Health: A Practical Clinical Guideline for Patient Management the National Osteoporosis Society has developed Vitamin D and Bone Health: A Practical Clinical Guideline for Management in Children and Young People. We are now carefully considering the consultation submissions and look forward to releasing the finalised guideline in the near future.

We would like to invite ARMA organisations to endorse the final version of the guideline.
By endorsing the document and permitting us to add your organisation’s logo to the document, you can help us to raise standards of care across the UK.

If you have any questions please contact the Policy and Public Affairs Team at

New “Living with fractures” fact sheets

The National Osteoporosis Society has launched 6 new fact sheets on living with fractures and osteoporosis. These can be downloaded free at and include:

  • Financial help after fractures
  • Daily Living after fractures
  • Out and about after fractures
  • Pain relieving drugs after fracture
  • Managing persistent pain after fractures
  • Travel Insurance and osteoporosis

An overview leaflet “Living with Fractures” is also available to be downloaded or ordered in bulk by health professionals.

Updated Guidelines for a Clinical Bone Densitometry Service

The National Osteoporosis Society will be launched updated Guidelines for the provision of a clinical bone densitometry service, very shortly.

British Acupuncture Council

The BAcC have rebranded:
Acupuncture Awareness week 2015 has launched,
with a new survey on stress and a radio day with our celebrity ambassador, Donna Air.


ARMA members are welcome to attend this event for free – please contact Nick Pahl for further information on


rsph_logo_squareThis month the Royal Society for Public Health published its latest report capturing the views of those working in public health within local authorities. “In good health” builds upon research RSPH undertook in 2014 and attempts to provide a snapshot of the public health workforce nearly 2 years since the move to Local Authorities.
The findings of RSPH show that embedding public health within Local Authorities has given cause for optimism. There appears to be greater belief that this move will lead to better health outcomes, and public health is working well with other departments. However, we would also temper this optimism with concerns that political and financial constraints may be continuing to impact upon decision making to improve the public’s health. It is paramount that evidence of what can improve the public’s health should guide decision-making.

The full report and press release can be found here.

Shirley Cramer CBE
Chief Executive
Royal Society for Public Health

Macmillan-learnzone-squareA useful document from Macmillan for anyone who has an interest in how services are planned and commissioned and how the public can be involved in this. Macmillan has facilitated a number of events and developed resources to support facilitators to help the public get involved in influencing commissioning.

See and Download Macmillan’s Influencing Commissioning manual in their Learnzone.

BackCare-Chief-Executivex300-thumbBackCare has a new Chief Executive – Stuart Blackman – who brings diverse charity experience following a first career with three leading healthcare companies that included extensive clinical trials work in musculoskeletal disorders, international marketing and project management. Click for full size photo.

BackCare launched it’s new website which includes a range of new features to meet the growing demands of BackCare’s stakeholder groups – patients, practitioners, companies, researchers and educators. See

BackCare announce the focus of their 2015 awareness week is back pain in school children. One quarter of UK school children suffer from back pain but are not covered by legislation designed to protect adult employees. The 2015 Awareness Week will also be encouraging exercise, good posture, healthy eating to help improve school results…

PSALV-logo-squareThe psoriasis/PsA Cross-Party Group at Holyrood is now subsumed into “Skin and related Rheumatic conditions”; however, we at PSALV continue to campaign on PsA rheumatology matters, being the only peer-led patient group in Scotland with leading NHS Clinicians as advisers.

At the first meeting of the new CPG in December 2014, Prof Iain McInnes of Glasgow University, spoke on the subject of psoriatic arthritis. He explained how he believes it is more common than rheumatoid arthritis; and how we need joint clinics all over Scotland to enable the best and equitable treatment for the estimated 23,000 people who have it here.

Joint clinics are where Rheumatology and Dermatology work together for the benefit of people with psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis. Prof McInnes runs one at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

We are working on a DVD, which can be used to educate and inform on PsA here. It features Professors McInnes and David Burden, and two patients. We hope that this DVD will be widely used for the training and education of medical students and nurses, etc. (and not for profit).

Our website has A4 page articles by NHS clinical experts, which can be downloaded or sent by post.

Janice Johnson

Ella-Vine-guest-blog by Ella Vine, Chief Executive, FibroAction

It was a pleasure to attend last week’s ARMA parliamentary reception, an event with expert speakers and healthcare professionals on the subject of musculoskeletal conditions. The event was well attended and it was good to see that some MPs are genuinely interested in the cause and support the 2015 ARMA Manifesto.

Lord Hunt, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, has spoken about the challenges lying ahead of us to improve the diagnosis and care of MSK conditions and addressed all six points of ARMA’s Manifesto. One of the biggest challenges for all of us who work in the sector and those living with any of the several conditions that are under the umbrella of MSK conditions, is to make an absolute priority for the incoming government and the NHS to offer excellent, top class quality diagnosis and care for people living with any of these conditions. This is the first point of the ARMA’s manifesto and it is closely intertwined with the other 5 points.

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When musculoskeletal conditions, such as fibromyalgia, are not correctly and promptly diagnosed, they do not only bring a misery to peoples’ lives, they can cause or deepen a disability, force people out of work, put families in income poverty and prevent people from living their lives to the full.


It also costs more public money. Prevention from this happening is the key and that is why we need excellent care and facilities to help people stay as healthy and active as possible through their lifetime. The return on investment in optimum diagnostic and care facilities and services is unquestionable. Thank you to ARMA for taking these matters to the heart of the parliament and for those of us working in the sector to keep bringing it up with the decision makers.

Ella Vine
Chief Executive, FibroAction