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


NOS-banner-460The National Osteoporosis Society welcomed the publication of guidance on the amount of vitamin D that people need to keep their bones strong but called for urgent debate on the best way for people in the UK to achieve this.

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), an independent body of experts, has been looking at the evidence for the levels of vitamin D that the population needs. It has set this at 10micrograms every day, in addition to anything that people might achieve through safe sun exposure.

It has also specifically recommended that the government gives consideration to strategies for the best ways for the UK population to achieve these levels.

In order to ensure that this important issue is talked about at the highest levels, the National Osteoporosis Society is working with parliamentarians, experts and stakeholders to debate how the recommendations can be effectively implemented in the UK. A meeting has been arranged for November 2016, which will examine the roles of sunlight, further food fortification and wide-scale use of supplements.

Vitamin D is vital to help your body absorb calcium which is needed for bones to give them strength and rigidity. Strong bones, a healthy active lifestyle and good nutrition help people in the UK to age well. Keeping bones strong can help to prevent broken bones that result from osteoporosis which cause pain, disability and loss of independence.

Claire Severgnini, Chief Executive, National Osteoporosis Society says, “The new guidance out today recommends that children over the age of one and adults need 10micrograms of vitamin D every day to keep their bones strong and healthy, in addition to what we already get through the sun. We want to ensure that the nation’s bones are as strong as they can be so we’re calling on the government to support us in finding the right solution for people so that everyone has an adequate amount of vitamin D.”

The charity has put together a food chooser for consumers.


fit-to-a-t-video-thumbnailThe United States Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI) has released a video to demonstrate the connection between weak bones, the risk of breaks and osteoporosis in an enlightened and attractive format, a new 6-minute animated video has been released focusing on the core messages of Fit to a T, a public education program on bone health and osteoporosis offered by the U.S. Bone and Joint Initiative.

The USBJI invites you to watch the video ( and share it with your patients, colleagues, family and friends.

This is a succinct and easy-to-understand story that covers the basics of bone health, risk factors, myths, and how to strengthen bones and avoid fractures.

portshosp-conference-side-bannerWednesday 21st September 2016
09:00 am – 4:00 pm
Mountbatten Centre, Alexandra Park, Portsmouth

Portshosps 10th Birthday Conference
“Taking Control of Your Arthritis and Connective Tissue Disease for the Future”

You are invited to attend the Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, Department of Rheumatology 10th annual patient and public conference. The day will include a series of talks given by consultants, clinical nurse specialists, physiotherapist, podiatrists, occupational therapists and dieticians. The programme is designed to be informative and educational; it gives you the opportunity to ask questions (or just listen if you prefer) and be around like-minded people who understand the challenges of living with arthritis and connective tissue diseases.


  • Over 20 talks and presentations lead by experts sharing their knowledge and experience with you.
  • The opportunity to discuss with over 40 local charities and organisations supporting people living with long term conditions in the your local community
  • The opportunity to network with people who understand what you’re going through!
  • Being able to advocate for yourself and the best care you can get


You can down load the programme
or if you would like a paper copy, contact Mrs M Fletcher (details below).


Free delegate fee for patients, members of the public and health care professionals.

To book your place contact us by email:

Or by post:
Mrs M Fletcher,
Department of Rheumatology,
Queen Alexandra Hospital,

by Professor Michael Hurley, Clinical Director,
Musculoskeletal Programme, Health Innovation Network South London

Along with many others in the musculoskeletal community, I get a tired of hearing about other long term conditions which continuously feature in the headlines – both in national media and NHS policy. Poor old ‘common’ joint pain is neither sexy nor headline-grabbing, but we all know how much it impairs the quality of life – none more so than the people who suffer it.

In the musculoskeletal programme of the Health Innovation Network (South London’s Academic Health Science Network we have been focusing on improving community management of osteoarthritis, or chronic joint pain, for the past couple of years. We have three main projects: the ESCAPE-pain programme, education and training and a new ‘Osteoarthritis Advisor’ role.

ESCAPE-pain stands for Enabling Self-Management and Coping with Arthritic Pain using Exercise ( | @escape_pain). It is a group-based, 6-week rehabilitation programme that combines exercise and education. It has now been implemented at 25 sites in England, both in clinical physiotherapy departments, and in leisure centres. Participants learn how to manage chronic joint pain using exercise and coping techniques, and we have seen just how powerful the learning and interactions of the group are in changing health beliefs and increasing physical activity. Don’t just take our word for it; look at what some of the 2000 participants who have undertaken the programme say: We also have substantial evidence that it will save the health system money – a lot of money. We are currently finalising an app that will allow many more people to access and benefit from the programme.

vimeo-participantsEarly on, we recognised how important it was to improve the training and education of the whole workforce in primary care. So we delivered a short training programme (devised by the Arthritis Research UK and Royal College of General Practitioners) to more than 200 GPs across 10 South London boroughs. They reported improved confidence in their ability to manage people with OA and less inappropriate referrals. Because it used a “train the trainer” approach, where participants who attend the programme can easily be trained to deliver it, we now have 7 GPs who are keen to continue to run these courses and educate their colleagues.

We also realised that leaving it to poor struggling GPs is not an option. People with benign joint pain get stuck in the bottleneck of primary care; because there’s insufficient manpower to deliver effective care, people receive little useful advice or adequate support, and consequently suffer unnecessarily for many years. So we are training other allied health professionals, health trainers and other disciplines to give more people better advice. In particular, we have also been delighted to observe how the provision of care NICE guidelines – simple advice and education delivered by an “Osteoarthritis Advisor” rather than a GP – can help reduce people’s joint pain, body weight and improve physical activity levels. This approach has huge potential for allied health professionals to elevate the burden on overstretched GPs, simplify over-complicated care pathways and deliver effective evidence-based care to large numbers of people.

HIN-logo-transparentOur projects show consistent improvements in pain, in function, wellbeing, and quality of life, and reduce health and social care costs. We are really excited about working with the health and social care systems across South London to scale-up and develop these projects so that many more people can lead better lives.

For more information contact us at the musculoskeletal clinical area at HIN South London.

eular-logo-squareThe winner of the Edgar Stene Prize 2016 has been announced, and ARMA would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Simon Stones.

Simon was chosen out of 16 entries from the UK to be put forward to the overall Europe-wide competition on the topic of Living with a rheumatic or musculoskeletal disease (RMD): How I take action to enjoy life to the full”.

You can read Simon’s winning essay as well as the entries awarded 2nd and 3rd prize on the EULAR PARE website.

The Edgar Stene Prize 2017 will be launched at the forthcoming EULAR congress in London, 8-11th June 2016.

National Voices’ Wellbeing Our Way programme

2015 has been an eventful year for Wellbeing Our Way, including our successful series of POW WOWs, emerging communities of practice, and being longlisted for the Change Opinion and Westbourne 100 awards 2015. The latest edition of WOW Now rounds up Wellbeing Our Way’s highlights throughout the year. This edition includes a case study of Mind‘s Qur’an and Emotional Health project; useful resources around engaging people in health and care support; and another chance to see one of our most read blogs of the year.

If you work within a voluntary or community organisation and would like to get involved in Wellbeing Our Way, please contact National Voices with Natalie Koussa, programme lead.

LUPUS-UK-2015-logo-square-270In November 2015 LUPUS UK marked its Silver Jubilee. In its 25th year LUPUS UK has awarded a record £792,000 in grants for lupus research and specialist nurses, bringing the total to £7.3 million since 1992.

Positions for specialist lupus nurses are normally funded for up to five years with the ambition that the NHS will continue the roles permanently. Overall, the charity has awarded grants for over 20 specialist lupus nurses, many of whom have continued in their roles after the initial funding.

“The specialist lupus nurse provides a very important point of contact between my appointments with the rheumatologist. I can phone her anytime or even email her and she always responds. She helped me to manage my fatigue and I have recently been able to return to part time employment.”
Patient quote


LUPUS UK Chair, Jane Dunnage, to stand down at the end of 2015


At the end of 2015 LUPUS UK’s current Chair, Jane Dunnage, will be standing down following three consecutive terms.

Jane first became involved with LUPUS UK in the 1990s, eventually becoming a Member Trustee in 2004 and Chair in 2007. As Chair, Jane has worked very, very hard to raise the profile of lupus and LUPUS UK and has been involved in many different areas taking part in meetings all over the country.

We know that Jane has plans in place for the future and we wish her well with this and a Big Thank You to her for all her hard work for people with lupus. Kevin Weston will be taking over as Chair beginning January 2016.

Please help share Arthritis Research UK’s new Spark project in partnership with the Design Council

Arthritis Research UK has launched a new project with the Design Council called the Spark product innovation fund. The project is set up to support the development and design of assistive products that help people living with arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions to live well and for those products to offer additional therapeutic benefit, to help people be independent and in control of their lives as much as possible.

Please help us share this new initiative within your online communities and through email newsletters.

Shortlisted projects will receive £15,000 in addition to an accelerator programme of workshops and bespoke mentoring support over a 20 week period. Following this intensive programme, applicants who can demonstrate a clear commercial solution to pitch that will help people living with arthritis, for a further £50,000 with ongoing support. A maximum of three shortlisted projects will be funded by Arthritis Research UK, with one receiving the final £50,000.

aruk-logo-2015We would appreciate your support in raising awareness of how people with an interest in arthritis innovation can apply to be part of the Spark product innovation fund project. We want you to let people in your networks know about the programme and how they can apply by sharing content in your online communities and email newsletter.


What We Are Asking From You
We kindly ask that you support our campaign by posting about it on your own social media channels and in your newsletters where relevant.

What We Can Provide for You
–        We can provide you with suggested tweets / FB posts and content including videos of case studies to post on your networks.
–        We can provide you with bespoke content for an e-newsletter or any other communication channel you use.
–        We will also actively promote your social media accounts to our following of 12.8k on Twitter (

Please can you reply to Catherine Barber in the Communications team if this is something that would be of interest by Monday 30th November and we will be in touch with the content during that week. Her email address is Please note the closing date for applications is December 14th(midnight).