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Arthritis News

At the Evidence Live conference in April at the University of Oxford, BAcC highlighted some of the methodological issues around research into acupuncture, with a focus on osteoarthritis. We presented a poster called “Evaluating Acupuncture: What works for the Patient“, showing research data and guidelines on acupuncture effectiveness.

For more information contact

GMC guidance reflects Accredited Registers

The Professional Standards Authority recently asked the General Medical Council to amend its explanatory guidance on Good Medical Practice. The guidance explains how doctors can put those principles into practice when, for example, delegating care and making referrals. The GMC has now amended its guidance to include Accredited Registers as an example of how GPs could satisfy themselves that systems are in place to assure the safety and quality of care provided to their patients.

Please see the section on Referrals from the GMC website.


NASS-2015-logo-squareThe National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society has moved office.
Our new details are:

4 Albion Court
W6 0QT

Telephone: 020 8741 1515

Our general email address and website remain the same.


BAcC featured in Professional Standards Authority report

The BAcC were featured as a success story in a report from the Professional Standards Authority about its Accredited Registers programme. BAcC was glad to see endorsements from a wide range of health leaders. See the full report at the professional standards website.

Champion acupuncture at the general election

The general election is on 7 May. BAcC members are being encouraged to contact local parliamentary candidates about Acupuncture. BAcC has produced a draft “White Paper” for the new Minister of Health to consider after the election.

Hip fracture guide cover

ARMA has just added to its Resources page a booklet produced by the National Hip Fracture Database.

The NHFD’s My Hip Fracture Care: 12 Questions to ask is a helpful guide to support patients undergoing hip fracture treatment.

It’s a resource for patients, their families and carers produced in association with the NOS, RCS, BOA, BGS, and Age UK.

Arthritis-Care-Square-270x270Arthritis Care have recently refocused their services on two proven service areas of
1) Young People and Families
and 2) Arthritis Champions.

We are currently recruiting to four Young People and Families posts in England to further extend our established services in Northern Ireland and Scotland. In addition, a post in Wales has been refocused on this area of service. We are working with some of the country’s leading paediatric, adolescent and adult rheumatology clinics – our proven support activities align with young people’s clinical interventions and help rebuild confidence, social networks and social skills that can all suffer as a result of diagnosis.

We are expanding our already well received ‘Arthritis Champions’ service which last year received significant funding from the Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund. Our commitment to self-management and service delivery through volunteers helps people rebuild their confidence, learn from peers and develop the ability to manage the pain and challenges that can arise as a result of diagnosis and living a life with arthritis. In key locations we offer a local product portfolio of face to face one to one support, telephone support and internet and face to face courses. This complements our UK services: Website, Information and Helpline.

Roadmap-for-sustainable-healthcare-squareThe Sustainable Healthcare initiative was launched in 2013. It sought to address the environment of demographic change and economic constraints facing European healthcare systems, and to counter solutions which focus purely on cutting headline treatment costs.

You can read about the the conference and European Steering Group on Sustainable Healthcare (ESG) and read the full Sustainable Healthcare White paper from Abbvie: “Acting Together: A Roadmap for Sustainable Healthcare“.

kings-fund-square-iconFrom hospitals to health systems

A core part of the vision in the NHS five year forward view is a fundamentally different role for acute hospitals. Hospitals in England and elsewhere face significant challenges as a result of rising demand and the changing needs of the population, and they will not be able to meet these challenges by continuing to work alone. Instead, acute trust leaders need to embrace a system-wide perspective and work increasingly closely with primary care, community services, social care and others.

See the key findings of the report from the King’s Fund website.

by Mike Kimmons CB, Chief Executive, British Orthopaedic Association
On Monday 16 March, the BOA launched the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) report. GIRFT was commissioned in 2013 by the Secretary of State for Health and NHS England and published with their agreement. Evidence-based and solutions-oriented, the GIRFT team used multiple sources to compile a unique data set for each NHS Hospital Trust in England that provides elective orthopaedic services and constructed comparative performance dashboards with the objective of benchmarking good practice. It also includes an important stocktake of rehabilitation services conducted by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) that flags up the patchwork quilt of provision encountered by patients across the country.

Each Trust received its dataset prior to a personal visit by the BOA President, then Professor Tim Briggs, who met with the Chief Executive, Medical Director and orthopaedic clinical team to discuss their data. This took the form of an unprecedented peer review that was both powerful and insightful precisely because it was evidence based, clinically led and highlighted variations. As a consequence a number of hospitals are already changing their orthopaedic practice and the BOA has identified a series of solutions that will enable the future delivery of a high quality, sustainable and affordable elective orthopaedic service for England that will be able to provide more and better care for patients.

The resultant change agenda is significant and will rely on determined leadership by clinicians standing shoulder to shoulder with NHS managers.

Precise details of the implementation plan for orthopaedics in England will become clearer over the next few months and in the meantime a similar programme of GIRFT visits has been completed for Wales and plans are in active development for Northern Ireland and Scotland.

GIRFT has been described by some as a snapshot, and by others as a study. It is neither. GIRFT is the initiator of what is likely to be an enduring patient-focused continuous improvement programme for orthopaedics: the dashboards have data feeds from HES, the National Joint Registry, the NHS Litigation Authority and many other sources. They will continue to be used as the evidence base with which to track and measure advances in orthopaedic performance. Moreover, because it uses the evidence base and peer review, the powerful GIRFT methodology has the potential to be applied to other specialties and disciplines in our NHS – as well as other health economies: we are in dialogue with the Chinese Orthopaedic Association and were invited to run a GIRFT related symposium at the recent congress of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Nor are we pushing forward in isolation: it is the intention that the the GIRFT dashboards will complement the MSK metrics work being led by AR UK. In addition, the changes in orthopaedic practice should give CCGs increased assurance to commission elective services with confidence from NHS providers and avoid the destabilisation of trauma services that we have seen as a consequence of some recent MSK contracting decisions.

Last but by no means least, the CSP’s rehabilitation work has the potential to improve the framework of care for patients at a crucial stage of their pathway.

These are exciting times for MSK in general and T&O in particular. The GIRFT collaboration between the BOA and the CSP exemplifies the importance of ARMA as the glue that binds us as a community: it is a positive demonstration that close working within the Alliance can have real teeth and make a tangible difference for patients.

Mike Kimmons CB
Chief Executive
British Orthopaedic Association