Introducing The Cornwall Arthritis Trust

Guest Blog by Professor Tony Woolf, Acting Chair and Secretary, Cornwall Arthritis Trust

Cornwall is well known for its coastline, beaches and mixture of rugged countryside with wooded valleys, great gardens and wonderful vistas. Poldark county. A visitor’s paradise but it has all the problems of rural and coastal communities with an economic dependency on agriculture and tourism and a low pay economy. Economic hardship is not immediately obvious but there are Cornish estates that rank among the highest in … Read this article

North Wales ARMA Network group report

Guest blog by Stephen Mack-Smith BSc, DC, MRCC. MEAC
Chair, North Wales ARMA

I received a letter about 14 years ago from my professional association looking for volunteers to join an umbrella group of patients and professionals with an interest in MSK problems. Funding for three years came from the English NHS, and fortune had it that owing to lobbying from North West Wales professionals within ARMA, a Pilot ARMA Network Group was formed in March 2007. It was the … Read this article

Guest blog: Best MSK Health for London

What is the roadmap for improving musculoskeletal health in London?

Personal view from Ian Bernstein, Clinical Director for Musculoskeletal Health, NHS England and NHS Improvement, London Region.

The Best MSK Health collaborative at NHS England brings together providers and people with lived experience to “enable best MSK health for all”. [1] The programme formally launched in February 2021 as we were riding the second COVID wave; and the timing is significant.  We have known for many years that musculoskeletal problems … Read this article

Working in partnership with patients to extend the benefits of pain management programmes

Guest blog by Dr Michelle Farr, Research Fellow at University of Bristol and the National Institute for Health Research Applied Research Collaboration West (NIHR ARC West)

People who experience long-term pain have important insights and strategies that help them manage pain in everyday life. However, they are often not invited to share their knowledge and skills to inform the services that are meant to support them. ARMA has been highlighting the importance of working in partnership with patients and how … Read this article

Pain forecast: building a predictive model of pain

Guest blog by Claire Little, PhD researcher at Centre for Epidemiology Versus Arthritis, University of Manchester

People living with arthritis and chronic pain conditions know that pain is a fluctuating and unpredictable symptom 1. This can cause uncertainty and fear about the future severity of pain 2. I am working on a project to build a ‘pain forecast’ that would provide predictions of future pain. Like the weather forecast, or economic forecasts, this aims to produce predictions … Read this article

Raising MSK conditions up the agenda has never been more important…

… that’s why we’ve joined ARMA

Guest blog by Craig Jones, CEO of the Royal Osteoporosis Society

Later this summer the Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS) will launch its manifesto for a future without osteoporosis. This marks the beginning of a new chapter where we’ll turn up the volume on the fight against osteoporosis through campaigning and advocacy.

Our hospital-by-hospital approach to fostering Fracture Liaison Services (FLS) since 2015 has paid off, with 12.1m more people now having access to the … Read this article

Guest blog: Supporting people living with long term pain

What does the recent NICE guidance mean for pain clinics in this country?

Personal view from Alf Collins, Clinical Director for Personalised Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement

The recently published NICE guidance re: chronic pain management 1 has enjoyed a mixed reception. The purpose of the guidance is to improve the lives of people living with long term pain by improving the quality of pain management services across the NHS but many commentators, patient groups and national professional bodies … Read this article

Guest blog: The value of charity coalitions

by Charlotte Augst, Chief Executive, National Voices

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that the NHS cannot succeed on its own. Whether it’s people’s behaviours around masks or hygiene, the contribution of volunteers to keeping people safe and connected, or partnerships with communities and their organisations to reach people who might otherwise lose out on services (such as the vaccine) – the NHS needs partners.

Here at National Voices, we obviously think mostly about the partnerships that … Read this article

Guest blog: A New Deal for Prevention

by Sebastian Rees, Researcher, Reform.

At Reform, we’ve long advocated for prevention to be central to any proposals for building a healthier Britain. Tackling the drivers of ill health early reduces demand on health care services further down the line, easing pressures on our already strained system. Far more importantly, averting or delaying the development of preventable conditions allows people to live for longer in better health. If the goal of our health system is to help people … Read this article

Living with a stranger – ‘The Uninvited Guest’ in the time of COVID

Guest blog by Emily Earle

Emily’s 12 year old daughter was diagnosed with JIA in 2010 at the age of 2. Emily now volunteers for the charity ‘CCAA – Kids with Arthritis’ running their local area network of support groups. CCAA offers support to children with JIA and their families across England and Wales.

Life with a child who has a medical condition can be challenging at any time. Families usually manage because we have to. Quite simply, … Read this article