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

Publicity

On Tuesday 5 July, Arthritis Research UK held a parliamentary reception which more than 60 MPs attended. The reception had a range of activities for MPs including speaking to people living with arthritis, trying our interactive station, as well as learning how many people in their local area may have the condition. In advance of the event, over 300 people emailed their MPs asking them to attend the reception. Many of the MPs who came said it was because their constituent had flagged the event with them. Campaigners Christine Walker and Cat Priddey both attended the reception to speak to MPs about the realities of living with arthritis.
See the full-size photo from the event.

Launch of multimorbidity report

This month, Arthritis Research UK has launched a report exploring why it’s essential to consider musculoskeletal conditions when planning how our health system tackles multimorbidity.
Multimorbidity, which means living with two or more long-term conditions, is becoming increasingly common. Alongside an ageing population, multimorbidity will have a substantial impact on our future health and care services. The NHS’s Five Year Forward View and the General Practice Forward View both recognise that the healthcare system must adapt to meet the growing demands of multimorbidity. It must move away from a focus on single diseases to a system which holistically considers the needs of people with multiple long-term conditions.

Good musculoskeletal health underpins living well and independently with multimorbidity, however, musculoskeletal conditions are too often overlooked. This report sets out why musculoskeletal conditions must be included in future plans to address multimorbidity and makes clear recommendations for change.

Core Skills in Musculoskeletal Care

We know that each year 20% of people in the UK consult their GP about a musculoskeletal problem. The free online programme from Arthritis Research UK, ‘Core Skills in Musculoskeletal Care’ will allow health professionals to increase confidence in assessment, diagnosis, investigation and treatment of MSK problems. The module has been developed in conjunction with the RCGP and has received educational endorsement from NICE. The package is worth 5 CPD points and takes 30 minutes to complete each module. If you’re short of time then you can do the new bitesize version ‘Five minutes to musculoskeletal care’ which launched last month. If you would like to receive education and training updates from Arthritis Research UK you can join our healthcare professional network.

The Edgar Stene Prize 2018 competition is open to people 18 years and over who are living with a Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal (RMD) disease. The 2018 prize will be awarded to the winning essay on the topic:

 “My personal champion – supporting my everyday life with a rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease (RMD)”

For many people with RMDs it can be a long journey to receive the right diagnosis and appropriate treatment for their condition. The competition invites entrants to write about their personal experience. As the UK’s national member organisation of EULAR–PARE, ARMA will appoint a judging panel to decide upon the one essay we will submit to the competition on behalf of the UK. Please let us know if you would like to be part of the judging panel by emailing Maristela at projects@arma.uk.net by Friday 1st December 2017.  

Please submit all completed essays to Maristela at projects@arma.uk.net by Friday 21st December 2017. Each entry should not exceed 2 pages (A4) and be submitted along with information about the author. Please see the full competition rules and letter to member organisations with further details on the essay theme.

The overall Stene Prize winner, chosen by a EULAR jury, will be announced by 15th March 2018. The Stene Prize winner will be awarded a prize of € 1,000 and will be invited to attend the Opening Plenary Session of the EULAR Congress in Amsterdam (13th June 2018) with travel and accommodation covered. The runner up will be awarded €700 and third place awarded €300.

Once more NRAS has had a very successful RA awareness week with thousands getting involved in the #behindthesmile campaign. Over 500 awareness packs were sent out in the post and there have been over 1,700 downloads of the posters and infographics from the website.

Our thunderclap went live on the first day of the week and surpassed our target, reaching over 175,000 people, and our RA awareness week frame was used by 2,000 people on Facebook and Twitter.

Click to open the full-size the Behind-the-smile NRAS team photo.

During the week, we launched part 2 of the #behindthesmile video with Jane deciding to talk about having RA.
You can view the video on our website www.nras.org.uk/ra-awareness-week

The full impact is still being calculated but we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported and shared our posts on social media throughout the week.

#WearPurpleForJIA

A big thank you ARMA and everyone who supported the campaign this year – we are overwhelmed by the fundraising activities that people organised this year in aid of JIA-at-NRAS through #WearPurpleforJIA.

This is an amazing campaign started by two mothers (Lynette and Rachel) just a few years ago. Over £12,000 has already been raised and the cheques are still coming in!

The UK Gout Society recently attended the 7th European Symposium of the Societal Impact of Pain (SIP 2017) in Malta, organised by the European Pain Federation (EFIC), Pain Alliance Europe, the Active Citizen Network and Grünenthal.
The event brought together stakeholders from across the EU and MSK community – and provided a platform to raise awareness of the impact of pain, exchange ideas and information, develop consensus and policy strategies, and debate pain as a quality indicator for healthcare systems.

One-in-five adults in the EU are currently living with chronic pain. Direct and indirect healthcare spending on chronic varies between 2-3 percent of GDP across the member states. With more than 500 million sick days per year in Europe, musculoskeletal pain alone causes almost 50 percent of all absences from work. Yet chronic pain remains poorly managed and under-treated – not only affecting individuals living with pain, and the people close to them – but society at large.

There were a wide variety of informative and inspiring workshops and plenary sessions at the conference. These included presentations by advocacy groups, such as AGORA (the coalition of 19 southern European rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease patient organisations), Fibromyalgie France (French Fibromyalgia Association), and Arthritis Care Scotland; as well as lead clinicians, educational institutions, the Spanish Ministry of Health, European Medicines Agency, the German Pain Society, Fit for Work and the European Commission. MEPs also took an active part in debates – offering attendees to email them directly with questions regarding chronic pain for the European Parliament.

Despite the disparate speakers and content, common themes were apparent throughout the conference. Calls for a cross-functional approach to tackling chronic pain were echoed across many of the working group presentations and plenary sessions. Patients, doctors, insurers employers, policy makers and politicians need to work together to push chronic pain up the political and healthcare agenda. The need for structured cooperation between healthcare systems across Europe to tackle the societal impact of pain was deemed to be imperative – as well as the need for greater research and surveillance.

Another important topic was the role of terminology in ‘making or breaking’ patient access to medicines and health services. Is chronic pain a disease in its own right – chronic primary pain – other than just co-existing with other conditions? There was also a report from the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) Task Force for the Classification of Chronic Pain and the current field testing of a new version of the WHO’s ICD-11 which now includes codes for chronic pain.

At the close of SIP 2017, Martin Seychell, Deputy Director General DG SANTE, European Commission, announced the launch of an expert group on the social impact of pain within the EU’s Policy Platform. He stated: “We cannot have a successful Europe without taking care of our most important asset – our people.”
Overall, it was clear from the conference that, while acute pain may reasonably be considered a symptom of disease or injury – chronic and recurrent pain is a specific healthcare problem. “The relief of pain should be a human right,” concluded the President of EFIC.

Following SIP2017, on 16th June, EU Health Ministers, under the leadership of the Maltese Presidency, called for a review of access to treatment for patients suffering from chronic pain.

RA awareness week 19-25th June

The RA Awareness week packs are flying off the shelves and we’re looking forward to an action-packed week.

NRAS is holding the 1st “Rheum for You” conference of the year in Swindon on the Wednesday 21st June and have lots of people signed up to hold their own events during the week. We have a different theme every day and you can keep an eye on our plans on the NRAS website, Facebook and Twitter channels.

#WearPurpleForJIA

NRAS is delighted to announce that the #WearPurpleForJIA 2017 Campaign has chosen to support NRAS again as their charity for the year.

Friday 9th June 2017 will be a day awash with purple everywhere and a great day to get young and old involved at home, school or work. Encourage friends and family to wear something purple, from socks to hats, and everything else in between!

Find out more on our JIA website.

World AS Day was on Saturday 6 May. Every year, our aim on the day is to increase awareness and understanding of AS.

We produced a short video called ‘What is AS’ explaining the condition and how it affects people and asked people to share it on social media. We were delighted to have a reach of more than 55,000 on Facebook alone. This is the first in a series of videos.

Click here to open https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tfoivx6Sgtc

 

We also worked with the BMJ this month to produce an infographic of the NICE Spondyloarthritis Guideline.

An A2 poster of the infographic was inserted into the early May edition of the BMJ and went out to 78,600 hospital doctors. We were able to give out copies at the BSR Conference and have further copies in the NASS office for anyone planning GP education. Just contact sally@nass.co.uk.

NASS will be working hard on social media to raise awareness of ankylosing spondylitis on World AS Day and we would really appreciate the support of all ARMA members with shares and retweets of our messages.

We will be using our @NASSchiefexec and @NASSexercise twitter accounts and our Facebook page.

#worldasday

The National Osteoporosis Society launched its new Message to My Younger Self campaign with a bang this month, earning the charity over 300 pieces of media coverage on TV, radio and national press.

The campaign, which runs throughout the summer until the end of October, is looking to start conversations about bone health between generations and launched with a focus on the need for a healthy, balanced diet.

Some of the key coverage included articles in The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and BBC Health Online, as well as BBC Radio’s Today Programme and Jeremy Vine show.

The National Osteoporosis Society is also revitalising its Stop at One campaign to encourage people to find out if they are at risk of osteoporosis.

Launching in May 2017, the charity will be piloting new campaign collateral (leaflets, posters and scratch cards) in eight fracture clinics across the UK targeting people over the age of 50 with an existing fracture.

The campaign has two main objectives: to encourage people who have broken a bone and are over 50 to ask for more information on osteoporosis and take an online quiz and to educate key staff in fracture clinics to put people at risk of osteoporosis on the correct pathway to a risk assessment.