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

Press Coverage

Readers of this newsletter will all be aware that physical activity is essential for musculoskeletal health. Every month we seem to report new publications on the subject. This month is no exception: two recent publications highlight the challenges and propose some solutions.

Researchers have studied adolescents’ activity levels in 146 countries and found that more than 80% are not meeting the recommended levels of activity. In the UK in 2016, more than 85% of girls were not active enough, and neither were almost 75% of boys. It was great to see that the BBC coverage of the story included stronger bones and muscles as one of the reasons activity is important.

The British Medical Association has published Get a Move on: Steps to increase physical activity levels in the UK. This report makes policy recommendations across four core parts of people’s lives – travel, leisure, school and work – and sets out the steps government and policymakers should take to increase physical activity levels across the UK.

The report also includes reference to the important role of activity to “maintain or improve musculoskeletal strength, supporting healthy ageing and reducing the chance of falls for older people. For example, physical activity can reduce the likelihood of hip fractures by up to 68%.”

 

In early February, ARMA was one of 55 signatories to an open letter published in The Times newspaper from the Association of Directors of Public Health. The letter argued that public health should be a priority in the Spending Review.

ADPH President Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy said:

“Tackling the root causes of ill health and creating places in which we can all be healthy is the mission of local government. If we undervalue this public health expertise within local government, the NHS Long Term Plan simply cannot be delivered.

“Directors of Public Health can provide the leadership needed to drive improvements in the determinants of health – housing, air quality, crime and poverty – alongside community public health services, such as alcohol treatment and stop smoking services, which are just as vital as hospital-based support.

“The significant cuts to public health are jeopardising these efforts, which are so fundamental to population health – and the sustainability of the NHS. It is time for a step change in public health funding and national policy action. This must be a priority for the Spending Review.”

Read the letter on The Times website (pay-wall) or download the statement from the ADPH.

 

Tracey Loftis, Head of Policy and Public Affairs Versus Arthritis, attended the Lords Economic Affairs Committee on Tuesday 4 December 2018 to talk about social care and the needs of people with arthritis, alongside colleagues from Mencap and the Alzheimer’s Society. 

In a wide-ranging session, Tracey highlighted Versus Arthritis’ research on aids and adaptations, the positive impact they have on the lives of people with arthritis and the challenges people still experience when trying to access them. Members of the Committee were particularly struck by the numbers of people affected by musculoskeletal conditions and the massive impact arthritis has on their lives. 

The Lords session also covered multi-morbidity, social care funding models, care workers, unpaid carers and the impact of Brexit. We are very much looking forward to publication of the Lords Economic Affairs Committee report and hearing their thoughts on social care.

The House of Lords session is available for viewing here:
https://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/51406006-0dad-4843-9c4c-ac2c38214e85  

The British Orthopaedic Association is aware of concerns being raised by patients following recent media coverage regarding implants.

To communicate reassurance and the relevant facts, the BOA has prepared a statement for patients which you can open here.

Prevention is in the news this week as Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock announced that prevention must be at the heart of the NHS long-term plan, with more spending on community services.

This is welcome news and something ARMA and our members have long called for.

The new prevention vision aims to ensure that people can enjoy at least five extra healthy, independent years of life by 2035, while narrowing the gap between the experience of the richest and poorest.

ARMA will continue to call for this to include a focus on MSK conditions. As the leading cause of years lived with disability, MSK health is essential to independent living and managing your health. There can be no health without MSK health.

On 20 March 2018, Arthritis Research UK hosted its first parliamentary event of the year, sponsored by Andrew Bowie MP. The drop-in event attracted almost 50 MPs, alongside MP researchers, who came to find out how they can support constituents affected by arthritis.

Thank you to everyone who took our e-action in advance of the event, and asked their MP to attend. It certainly made a difference, with some MPs saying they only knew about the event because their constituent had raised it with them. If you’d like to support our work in this way, you can join our campaigner network.

MPs from across the UK spoke to people living with arthritis, learned about the services we offer, talked with our research team about our current projects and success stories, and discovered how many people in their constituency are affected by arthritis. Attendees also had the opportunity to try on our arthritis gloves which simulate the mobility restrictions arthritis can cause in hands.

Read the full article here.

 

Chair of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance Receives Top Honor from American College of Rheumatology

Professor Tony Woolf was honored with the designation of Master by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) during the 2017 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting in San Diego. Recognition as a Master is one of the highest honors that the ACR bestows on its distinguished members.

The designation of Master is conferred on ACR members who have made outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology through scholarly achievement and/or service to their patients, students, and the rheumatology profession and are age 65 or older. Honorees have devoted their careers to furthering rheumatology research and improving clinical standards in the treatment of rheumatic diseases.

 “It’s an honor to be recognized for my commitment to advancing the health of patients with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases in Cornwall, across the UK and also globally,” said Prof Woolf. “I am truly humbled to receive this designation and join the ranks of many distinguished rheumatologists.”

ACR Masters must be highly accomplished individuals. Evidence of their achievements can come from many types of endeavors and honors, such as research, education, health care initiatives, volunteerism, and administrative positions. The Master must be distinguished by the excellence and significance of his or her contributions to the science and art of rheumatology.

Prof. Tony Woolf was consultant rheumatologist, Royal Cornwall Hospital from 1987 until 2015 and is currently Clinical Director, National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network South West Peninsula.  His work has focused on reducing the impact of rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions by influencing policy and practice nationally and internationally through evidence and advocacy. He works with and advises policymakers in UK, European Commission and WHO. The current focus is on the importance of musculoskeletal health in the workplace and in ageing populations.  Prof. Woolf is chair of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance and has held leading positions within various national, European and International organisations – immediate Past Chair and founder member of the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health; past Chair, National Osteoporosis Society UK; past member of EULAR Executive Committee as chair of the Education and Training Standing Committee; and past President UEMS (European professional organisation for rheumatology).  He has been appointed Honorary Professor of Rheumatology to University of Exeter Medical School and Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, and was visiting Professor in Musculoskeletal Science, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, Sweden, 2008–2014.

About the American College of Rheumatology

The American College of Rheumatology is an international medical society representing over 9,400 rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals with a mission to empower rheumatology professionals to excel in their specialty. In doing so, the ACR offers education, research, advocacy and practice management support to help its members continue their innovative work and provide quality patient care. Rheumatologists are experts in the diagnosis, management and treatment of more than 100 different types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases. For more information, visit www.rheumatology.org.

The National Osteoporosis Society has a busy few days in the run up to this year’s World Osteoporosis Day on 20th October generating lots of activity in the local and national press on the charity’s social media channels.

The day was also used to highlight progress of the charity’s A Message to My Younger Self Campaign after President Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall’s own message was reported in a number of newspapers including The Daily Telegraph and Woman & Home magazine.

In addition, the charity also secured coverage in a number of local newspapers and radio stations as support groups in Portsmouth and Conwy lit up local landmarks in National Osteoporosis Society brand orange.

In a message to her younger self, she counselled eating a healthy diet with lots of vitamin D and taking plenty of exercise to ward off the bone-weakening condition.

The Duchess said that as a young woman she had been “blissfully unaware” of the causes and devastating effects of osteoporosis, but warned that it is too late to attempt to build up bone strength beyond the age of 30.