The Arthritis Research UK Policy and Public Affairs team attended the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat party conferences in England and the SNP conference in Scotland. Notable meetings include Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State at the DWP, the Labour shadow health team and Aileen Campbell Minister for Public Health and Sport at Holyrood.
Westminster Hall Debate
The Policy and Public Affairs team, worked to secure the debate to coincide with Share Your Everyday campaign. The parliamentary debate, led by the Strangford MP Jim Shannon, highlighted the pain, isolation and fatigue that millions of people with arthritis live with every day. 15 MPs attended the debate, along with two Government Ministers and a Labour shadow minister. 50 MPs have now signed our ‘Early Day Motion’, calling on MPs to recognise the need to raise awareness of the condition in the run-up to World Arthritis Day, and support Arthritis Research UK’s Share Your Everyday campaign.
Prior to the debate we organised a drop-in session to brief MPs around our key themes of prevent, transform and cure including earlier diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis, and linking fracture liaison services to hospitals.
There were hundreds more people who took part in a Facebook debate we held in the run up to the Parliamentary debate, in partnership with the House of Commons Engagement team. Over 500 people commented in the debate, hosted on our Facebook page, with their comments being passed directly to MPs to read ahead of the event.
Responses can be read here: https://www.facebook.com/events/699453930219516/
Scottish Musculoskeletal Calculator
Arthritis Research UK has had a formal sign-off of the Musculoskeletal (MSK) Calculator for Scotland. The charity commissioned Imperial College London to produce high quality local prevalence estimates for four musculoskeletal conditions: osteoarthritis of the hip and knee, low back pain, rheumatoid arthritis and high risk of fragility fracture.
The prevalence estimates, modelled using Scottish risk factor data, were presented by Imperial College London to senior Scottish stakeholders, including NHS Scotland, Information Services Division and University of Aberdeen. The information generated is a huge step towards filling the data gap and is important for use in local planning of health and care services.
Plans to produce estimates for Wales and Northern Ireland are to follow.