Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance
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.

Standards

ARMA policy teams and CEOs collaborated to agree a Policy Position Paper on Supported Self-Management for People with Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Conditions. The Policy Position Paper sets out recommendations for change.

The evidence identifies the importance of patients as partners in their own care. While people with musculoskeletal conditions can play a pivotal role in their condition, most are simply unaware of the difference they can make. That’s why the Alliance believes people should be supported to take a proactive role in their health, to live well, feeling confident and in control of their condition with supported self-management. Currently, supported self-management sits at the side-lines yet it works – it improves quality of life and clinical outcomes. In the paper, recommendations include a whole system, integrated approach across the care pathway, joining up public health messaging and clinical care.

ARMA works in partnership with our members and other stakeholders. Please get in touch if you would like to work with us to promote this paper, would like us to write a blog or article for your publication or are interested in other collaboration.

The MSK physio-themed review is now live.

Moving Forward – Physiotherapy for Musculoskeletal Health and Wellbeing  highlights evidence from the National Institute for Health Research and others on why research in this area matters, assessment and matching patients to treatment, restoring musculoskeletal health and maintaining musculoskeletal wellbeing.

 

It features:

  • 37 published studies
  • 25 ongoing research projects
  • Questions to ask your physiotherapy musculoskeletal services

 

You can download this review from the National Institute for Health Research website.

Rapid access to the right care and supporting patients to be fully involved in their care is at the heart of a new capabilities framework launched today (31/07/2018) by NHS England, Health Education England, Public Health England, Skills for Health and the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA). The Musculoskeletal Core Capabilities Framework, aimed at practitioners who will be the first point of contact for people with musculoskeletal conditions, sets out to support improved access to care and ensure quality outcomes for patients.

Musculoskeletal conditions, such as neck and back pain, arthritis and rheumatic conditions, are the biggest cause of disability in the UK, accounting for one in five visits to the GP. They have enormous impact on quality of life for millions of people, with much of the disability avoidable.

This new framework sets out the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to deliver first contact practitioner expertise consistently and effectively in a range of healthcare settings. It helps to ensure that patients get improved access to person-centred musculoskeletal care and support early on, with musculoskeletal expertise part of the frontline general practice and primary care team. This approach could transform patient experiences, enabling people to stay at work or return to work more quickly, require less treatment at a later stage and have a much better overall quality of life.

John Rogers, Chief Executive of Skills for Health said: “We are delighted to have worked with our partners in HEE, NHS England, Public Health England, ARMA and alongside service users in producing this framework. Musculoskeletal conditions can have devastating consequences for some people. The first contact practitioner framework aims to support the workforce and to support the public to have confidence in a range of professions working within the primary care setting.”

Beverley Harden, Allied Health Professionals Lead, Health Education England said: “Musculoskeletal conditions such as neck and back pain, arthritis and rheumatic conditions effect around 9.6 million adults in the UK and can have a significant impact on their quality of life. It is vital that those suffering from these conditions have timely access to the care they need to enable them to stay physically active, in work, education and socially engaged.

This framework will establish the standards for clinical staff working as first point of contact musculoskeletal practitioners in primary care and direct access services.”

Dr Victoria Tzortziou Brown FRCGP, MFSEM, PhD, MSc., Royal College of General Practitioners Joint Honorary Secretary said: “The musculoskeletal framework will serve as a useful tool that sets out the core capabilities for first point of contact practitioners to ensure expert diagnosis, prevention, supported self-management advice, shared decision making and early treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. It can assist practitioners to review their learning needs as part of an ongoing process of continuing professional development and can support a more integrated approach to musculoskeletal management aiming to deliver better outcomes for patients.”

Professor Peter Kay, National Clinical Director for Musculoskeletal Services, NHS England said: “The musculoskeletal framework makes clear the benefits of early management in supporting people to stay active and independent. A person-centred approach to care will not only deliver improved outcomes for people living with MSK conditions, but also improved outcomes for the health and care system.

“The framework emphasises a commitment to collaborative and integrated services. Through multi-professional team working, across services, we can ensure a partnership approach to treatment, care and support that is tailored to meet people’s individual needs.”

Professor Anthony Woolf, Chairman of ARMA said: “The framework has been developed by the whole musculoskeletal sector collaborating on an issue that we all agree is important. We believe it will make a real difference to outcomes for people with musculoskeletal problems.”

Nuzhat Ali, National Lead for Musculoskeletal Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England said: “The Musculoskeletal Core Capabilities Framework covers the entire musculoskeletal pathway from prevention to rehabilitation. It highlights how health professionals, such as GPs, nurses and therapists, can support their patients by providing them with essential advice so they can better manage their condition.”

Visit www.skillsforhealth.org.uk for more information, or register to download the framework here.

ultrasound diagram

The European League Against Rheumatism, EULAR, has published a set of recommendations, which look at the use of imaging modalities in primary large vessel vasculitis, including giant cell arteritis and Takayasu arteritis.

The recommendations are intended to advise physicians on the use of imaging modalities (including ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, MRI, computed tomography, CT, and positron emission tomography, PET) when making a clinical diagnosis of large vessel vasculitis (LVV), and when to apply imaging for monitoring of disease activity and damage.

See the press release, Recommendations for the use of imaging in large vessel vasculitis in clinical practise [pdf] for detail and explanation. Accompanying the text is a diagram [credit to Christian Dejaco] showing example utrasound images of patients with large vessel vasculitis. Click here to see it in full size.

We all expect our healthcare to be safe, but mistakes can happen that may put patients at unnecessary risk.

This is the focus of the Safe Care Steering Group overseeing a James Lind Alliance priority setting partnership about safe care for adults with complex health needs, who have more than one condition or illness, or who need care from different teams and/or some care to be provided in their home.

On behalf of the Allied Health Professions Federation, Dr Jo Watson, RCOT’s Assistant Director – Education and Research, is part of this Steering Group. The aim of the partnership is to scope priorities in regards to safety and getting patients, carer, public and healthcare staff voices heard.

To this objective, the NIHR Imperial Patient Safety Translational Research Centre invites you to tell us about your concerns and which questions you would like to see answered through future research.

Please fill out this short survey which has been designed for patients, the public, carers and healthcare staff, via:

https://imperial.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_55VATbyojCFdSYd
or
https://hlxc.uk/safer-healthcare

There is a printable copy of the survey available, together with a free post envelope label (which can be printed and stuck on a size C5 envelope).

Or if you would prefer a paper copy of the survey and envelope to be sent to you or have any questions, please contact a.lawrence-jones@imperial.ac.uk or call 020 7594 3149.

Feel free to answer the questions as an individual or as a group with a specific interest in the area.

The questions which are raised will be ranked through a further survey to identify those which are the highest priority for future research. The organisation running the survey, the NIHR Imperial Patient Safety Translational Research Centre, will publicise the results to research funders and will aim to undertake research in some of the areas prioritised.

Please visit this website for more details.

The survey closes on at the end of February 2018.

The NHS England Transforming Elective Care programme has produced its first two handbooks. They suggest new referral and outpatient processes for elective musculoskeletal/orthopaedic services and elective gastroenterology services.

They draw on practical interventions developed and tested at various sites that took part in the programme’s early work. Each handbook is intended to provide practical, evidence-based advice on tested interventions to ensure people access care that is:

  • high quality
  • timely
  • appropriate
  • person-centred
  • equitable

The MSK handbook includes information on

  • MSK clinical review and triage
  • Standard referral templates
  • First contact practitioner
  • MSK self-management education
  • Patient passport
  • Telephone follow up

On 30th November 2017, the National Osteoporosis Society published new Osteoporosis Standards and Vertebral Fractures Guidance for Health Professionals. The guidelines help health professionals provide the possible care for people with osteoporosis.

Fizz Thompson, Clinical Director for the National Osteoporosis Society, said: “The National Osteoporosis Society plays a key role in driving positive change in healthcare provision for people affected by fractures and osteoporosis, and these new documents – developed with clinical experts over a two year period – demonstrate how the Charity is setting the agenda in this area.

“The new guidance will raise awareness of the clinical significance of fractures among all clinicians and managers, and highlights the importance of undertaking further investigation and starting treatment in a timely way.”

View the documents here on the NOS website.

by Mark Brandreth, NOA Lead CEO and
CEO of the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation
Trust

As the new lead CEO for the National Orthopaedic Alliance (NOA), I am proud to be part of a group of organisations and people who are working to drive improvements in orthopaedic care nationwide. I’m pleased to have been given the opportunity to contribute a guest blog to ARMA’s newsletter to share an update on our work with you. At Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH), our work with the NOA, and its vanguard work in particular, is vital to our future – and to the future of orthopaedic care received by patients across the country.

Ultimately, the NOA wants to improve the services that its members provide and through the vanguard project, create a framework (or pathway) others can follow leading to consistent high quality care for patients across the country. The objectives of the vanguard are:

  1. Agree what good looks like in orthopaedics and set a formal quality standard for this
  2. Recruit, assess and support members
  3. Grow membership across the country to spread provision of consistent high quality care
  4. Support the development of Quality Standards by members
  5. Support the development of a quality assured system for orthopaedic care

Progress with the vanguard to date has been centred on mobilising and recruiting members to help build our orthopaedic quality standards. Development of these standards is well underway and once launched will help ensure that patients, no matter where they are treated receive the same quality of care and are looked after using the same evidence-based, reliable and safe processes.

The success of the NOA so far has been driven by input from members and we are ever grateful for their support. Just recently, members contributed to producing The NOA Short Guide to Clinical Coding for Clinicians – a useful guide to help address an area needing attention across many NOA member organisations. More detailed guidance, including the full NOA suite of standards will be available to members once the vanguard launches its quality standards.

I for one am proud to be part of this movement. If you want to find out more about the NOA vanguard work, I encourage you to read the latest newsletter here. You can also follow @NOA_Vanguard on Twitter.