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

Commissioning

As you are hopefully already aware, a clinically-led programme called London Choosing Wisely is underway to develop pan-London policies for eight treatment areas, to ensure patients across London have consistent access to treatment that improves their health, based on the latest available evidence.  Full details about the programme, including a list of Frequently Asked Questions, are available online via: healthylondon.org/london-choosing-wisely

The London Choosing Wisely programme expert groups for knee arthroscopyvaricose vein procedures, and cataract surgery have now prepared a draft pan-London policy in their treatment areas.

Built into the programme is a ‘sense checking’ and feedback phase. Please note that this is not a consultation but an additional phase of the programme particularly seeking comments on how easy each draft policy is to follow and the clarity of the language used.  London Choosing Wisely is advisory and the statutory duty for approval of London-wide policies rests with each CCG governing body who will have the opportunity to further review, engage and consult in line with local governance processes, before making a decision on implementation.

Sense checking phase

The sense checking and feedback phase is now open for these treatment areas.  We invite comments from the London’s Healthwatch networks, patient associations and patients with an interest in these treatment areas via the following the online feedback forms:

The sense checking phase of the programme for all three draft policies will remain open until 9am Monday, 10 September 2018. 

Comments will be fed into the relevant expert groups, so that members – made up of primary and secondary care clinicians, public health experts, and patient representatives – can take on board feedback before finalising the draft policy.  Once agreed at Task and Finish Group level, each draft pan-London policy will be presented to the London Choosing Wisely Steering Group for approval of the review process and to ratify the policy.

What this means for patients

The aim of the programme is to reduce variation of care for patients across London by providing doctors with the latest evidence on what treatments should be offered to patients to achieve the best health outcome whilst also seeking to ensure that patients do not receive unnecessary treatment or intervention that will have little impact on their condition. The draft policies developed will be clear, easy to follow and use, and encourage conversations between patients and clinicians about the most clinically effective treatment available.

The programme will ensure a more standardised implementation of best practice and equal access to treatment that is consistent, clinically appropriate and based on robust evidence – all with a sharp focus on improved patient outcomes.

The London Choosing Wisely programme itself is advisory and the statutory duty for approval of London-wide policies rests with each CCG governing body who will have the opportunity to consult and debate the draft policies further, before making a decision. CCGs will further engage and / or consult locally, prior to implementation, as required.

“No health without MSK health”. Those were the words of our guest speaker at the ARMA AGM and they clearly struck a chord with members. They were on my mind last week when I attended a consultation meeting held by NHS England about the new ten-year plan for the NHS. At the moment MSK health doesn’t get as much profile as conditions such as mental health, cancer or cardiovascular. Not to downplay the importance of these conditions, but MSK health underpins all aspects of our ability to be independent and lead the active lives we want. We all know the cost to the NHS, to individuals and families, and to the economy is enormous.

The pain and limited mobility of MSK conditions also has a knock-on impact on other aspects of health – difficulty opening medication or food packaging; difficulty getting on the bus to shop for healthy food or attend appointments; difficulty carrying out all the self-care and self-management activities that enable us to manage other health conditions. Arthritis Research UK reports that by age 65 years, almost 5 out of 10 people with heart, lung or mental health problem also have a musculoskeletal condition. If you are struggling at home with your arthritis and you need to go into hospital for any reason, you are likely to need more support to return home as a result.

So why does MSK not get a higher profile? The answer is: at a local level it does. The majority of CCGs have MSK as a priority for service improvement locally. And at a national level NHS England has a plethora of relevant programmes and activity, it’s just they don’t all sit under the banner of a single MSK programme. By contrast, Public Health England has a new MSK programme which will be working on MSK initiatives and ensuring that MSK is embedded in other PHE work.

Wouldn’t it be great to see this all recognised with a profile in the ten-year plan? So as the NHS consults on the plan they will hear one message from ARMA members loud and clear: No health without MSK health.

Time is running out to become a Champion of Musculoskeletal Care. The deadline for this unique opportunity is 17 June 2018.

Arthritis Research UK, together with Ashridge Executive Education, have created a bespoke leadership initiative with the aim of driving forward tangible improvements in MSK services within the local health systems of each Champion.

We are looking for individuals who are involved in the design, commissioning and/or delivery of musculoskeletal care, including front-line clinicians, public health practitioners, commissioners and service managers.

The Programme:
Duration of 18-20 months and involves:

  • 5 x residential learning modules at Ashridge Executive Education.
  • Development and delivery of a work-based MSK service improvement project.
  • 4 x Action Learning Sets.
  • Access to Virtual Ashridge – an online learning tool to complement your learning.
  • Ongoing support and connection with Arthritis Research UK and your fellow Champions.
  • Support from a network of mentors; eminent leaders within the MSK sector.
  • Support from a panel of patient insight partners.

Arthritis Research UK are committed to representing the communities within the system that we aim to affect, and so the cohorts of champions will be multidisciplinary and diverse and instead of hierarchical position, we will focus on the potential to lead, adapt to change and deliver impact.

The deadline for applications is 17 June 2018. The interviews will take place between 16 – 23 July, and the programme starts in October 2018.

To find out more, please visit the MSK Champion page.

The State of Musculoskeletal Health 2018 is a resource for health professionals, policy makers, public health leads and anyone interested in musculoskeletal health. We believe that with the best information you can build awareness, make more informed decisions, feel more confident and ultimately help more people with musculoskeletal conditions. The resource was put together by Arthritis Research UK.

Using the best available data on prevalence, risk factors and comorbidities, the report lays out the key factors affecting musculoskeletal health, the economic benefits of musculoskeletal research, and describes the scale and impact of the problem.

You can read more details on the report from the arthritisresearchuk.org website and download the full set of statistics (PDF 2.9 MB).

Health Education England, together with South, Central and West Commissioning Support Unit, has developed an easy-to-use tool to support clinicians, managers and commissioners in their efforts to forecast and monitor the impacts of MSK self-referral to first contact practitioners (FCP).

It is called the MSK First Point of Contact Model.

The model would be useful for anyone considering:

  •     Writing a business case for a first contact practitioner service
  •     Evaluating the impact of an already established FCP service
  •     Planning a service improvement initiative within a MSK health system

You can find and download the model from ARMA’s Network Resources page.

Are you passionate about leading changes in musculoskeletal care?

Arthritis Research UK are delighted to announce the launch of the MSK Champions programme; a prestigious leadership development opportunity.

Together with Ashridge Executive Education, we have created a bespoke leadership initiative, which will support you through a unique development programme to become a Champion of musculoskeletal care.  If your application to this programme is successful, you will be supported and coached to drive improvements in musculoskeletal care within your local health system.

We are looking for individuals who are involved in the design, commissioning and/or delivery of musculoskeletal care, including front line clinicians, public health practitioners, commissioners and service managers.

We are committed to representing the communities within the system that we aim to affect, and so the cohorts of champions will be multidisciplinary and diverse and instead of hierarchical position, we will focus on the potential to lead, adapt to change and deliver impact.

 

The programme will be tailored to you, ensuring we fully meet your leadership development needs, and crucially support you to make the changes needed in your local area.

It will last for 18-20 months and involve:

  • 5 x residential learning modules at Ashridge Executive Education.
  • Development and delivery of a work-based MSK service improvement project.
  • 4 x Action Learning Sets.
  • Access to Virtual Ashridge – an online learning tool to complement your learning.
  • Ongoing support and connection with Arthritis Research UK and your fellow Champions.
  • Support from a network of mentors; eminent leaders within the MSK sector.
  • Support from a panel of patient insight partners.

 

If you would like to find out more about this amazing opportunity and how to apply, please contact us at champions@arthritisresearchuk.org

A new guide has been published to showcase the extensive range of programmes being delivered by the AHSN Network to improve clinical services in the areas of musculoskeletal (MSK), falls, fractures and frailty, all key priorities for the NHS.

Collectively, MSK, falls, fractures and frailty have a major detrimental impact on patients, families and carers, and are a major cost to the NHS.

With a growing and ageing population, health and social care services need to be proactive in their response to this challenge. Whilst many different clinical pathways and services are provided to manage these four problems, there are clear links between them.

Across the 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) there is a wealth of experience and practical skills in working with NHS organisations to improve clinical services in these clinical pathways, with service evaluation projects that have been shown to improve patient outcomes and deliver more efficient use of resources.

Compiled by Alison Gowdy, Clinical Innovation Adoption Manager at Oxford AHSN, with input from all 15 AHSNs, this new guide provides a useful overview of these projects.

It is hoped the guide will help shape discussions with Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs), commissioners and providers regarding future work to improve services and patient outcomes in these areas, while enabling others to share in learning to help implement and / or build on an existing, proven concept.

Download the guide here.

Happiness in elder rehab facility. Retired successful people

 

The webinar will outline the development of the JSNA chapter and why this is important for improving the musculoskeletal health of a local population. Ian Bernstein and Rutuja Kulkarni-Johnston will outline the process of developing an MSK JSNA chapter. Kevin Fenton will explore the benefits of this and how it might be used.

The London Borough of Ealing and NHS Ealing CCG published the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) chapter on Musculoskeletal Health in December 2017. The JSNA is a statutory document that describes the health and social care needs of the population, identifies gaps and unmet needs, and makes evidence-based recommendations to health and social care commissioners.

Two versions have been published: a visually appealing ‘Focus on’ Musculoskeletal Health chapter provides a compact, easy-to-navigate review. The full version adopts the life course approach proposed by Arthritis Research UK (ARUK), and includes both national data from the Global Burden of Disease, and local data from the ARUK Musculoskeletal Calculator.

See our post on the update to the Ealing MSK JSNA Chapter.

Who should attend:

Directors of Public Health, senior policy makers, health and social care commissioners, Health and Well-being Boards, providers tendering for services, patient groups.

Presenters

Ian Bernstein, Clinical Lead for Musculoskeletal Transformation, NHS Ealing CCG and NW London STP
Rutuja Kulkarni-Johnston, Consultant in Public Health, London Borough of Ealing
Professor Kevin Fenton MD PhD FFPH, Director of Health and Wellbeing, Southwark Council

Register in advance for this webinar.

The next joint meeting of the ARMA / Haywood User Group is on Friday, 16 February at 1pm in the Seminar room at the Haywood Hospital, Tunstall, Stoke on Trent. Refreshments are available from 12.30pm.

Geoff Lawton, chair of the ARMA Network for Stoke on Trent, is currently involved in a consultation process regarding the design process for the local health services. This consultation looks at the local provision of community beds, which involves the Discharge to Access (D2A) model. We are discussing with our CCGs the provision of care available when patients are discharged from hospital.

Happy New Year to all our supporters.

Although it is hard to feel that it will be happy for the NHS as winter crisis stories filled the media. Everyone in Government including the Prime Minister was forced to apologise as routine operations were postponed to help cope with the pressure of emergencies. Ministers appeared in the media to argue that the moves were part of a planned response and therefore there was no “crisis”. Listening to the coverage I took a small crumb of comfort: again and again, when giving an example of the negative impact of delays, hip and knee operations were mentioned. I heard all the arguments we make about the importance of MSK conditions – the impact on patients in terms of pain, the fact people may have to give up work. This awareness of the effectiveness of surgery for MSK conditions can only help the work we are doing to combat increasing restrictions by CCGs. By commissioning an effective pathway of care, including preventive services, NHS money could be better spent enabling those who do need surgery to get it rapidly, and those who don’t to manage their conditions better and continue to live the life they want.

ARMA has some exciting plans for 2018 which should capitalise on the increasing awareness of musculoskeletal conditions. At the end of last year Public Health England published guidance on healthy ageing and MSK health. NHS England has a number of initiatives aimed at improving MSK services, and we are looking forward to working with the Department for Work and Pensions on increasing the numbers of people with MSK conditions who are able to work. ARMA will continue to ensure that our members are able to support these opportunities. I’ve already had one meeting with one of our members about how they can engage with our networks to improve services locally, and I am looking forward to many more in the weeks to come. Look out for our new MSK Knowledge Hub to be launched early this year, and the next in our webinar series coming soon.

Whilst the NHS is undoubtedly struggling with many pressures, there will also be positives in 2018. From Public Health England giving more profile to MSK to the work and health agenda making progress along with our ongoing partnership working with NHS England and a new Wales ARMA network, there are so many opportunities for improving services and the lives of people with MSK conditions. So, I wish you a happy and positive 2018, and look forward to working with many of you to realise that.

The London Borough of Ealing and NHS Ealing CCG published their update to the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) chapter on Musculoskeletal Health in December 2017. The JSNA is a statutory document that describes the health and social care needs of the population, identifies gaps and unmet needs, and makes evidence-based recommendations to health and social care commissioners.

Two versions have been published.  A visually appealing ‘Focus on’ Musculoskeletal Health chapter provides a compact, easy-to-navigate review, and is essential reading for commissioners and providers of musculoskeletal services:

http://www.ealingccg.nhs.uk/media/136195/EALING-JSNA-Focus-On-Musculoskeletal-Health-Dec17.pdf

A comprehensive and fully referenced evidence-based JSNA chapter on Musculoskeletal Health is also available, including a complete list of recommendations.  The full version adopts the life course approach proposed by Arthritis Research UK (ARUK), and includes both national data from the Global Burden of Disease, and local data from the ARUK Musculoskeletal Calculator.  This will be of interest to Directors of Public Health and senior policy makers:

http://www.ealingccg.nhs.uk/media/136122/ealing-jsna-musculoskeletal-health-in-ealing-pre-publication-2017-12-15.pdf

Contact ian.bernstein@nhs.net for a copy of the templates.

 

The British Society for Rheumatology has launched the Inflammatory Arthritis toolkit in partnership with the Royal College for GPs and health professionals. Designed to facilitate earlier treatment for this condition, this toolkit aims to be a user-friendly guide to inflammatory arthritis for primary care professionals, people affected by arthritis and clinical commissioning groups.

The RCPG have also provided a summary here.