It’s been another productive month here at ARMA as I pass the three months in post milestone. With such a range of different activities there is never a dull moment. I have just attended my first ARMA Policy and Communications meeting. I enjoyed the lively discussions about joint messages on the importance of self-management and developing a co-ordinated social media plan for Bone and Joint Week in October. There is a lot of potential to support each other to have a bigger impact during the week. You can support by following @wearearma on twitter.

I’ve just returned from the Back Pain Show, a two day event in Birmingham where ARMA had a stand with a range of information from our members. We talked to a variety of people, including professionals and people with back pain, about ARMA and our members. Thanks to Gavin Clunie for presenting the ARMA session on the importance of early diagnosis of inflammatory back pain.

Our latest regional event, in Merseyside, was as successful as the others, and we are just analysing the pledges people have made to take action afterwards. The next event is at Exeter Racecourse on 14 July. Please sign up here if you are based in the South West.

At the start of May I had the pleasure of attending the King’s Fund annual leadership summit on the theme of Collaboration: working across boundaries. Collaboration is high on the NHS agenda at the moment, with new ways of collaboration between commissioners and providers, NHS and voluntary sector, professionals and patients. There were a lot of common themes I recognised from the ARMA work on clinical networks and the discussions at our regional events.

There is an increasing understanding that whether you are delivering health services or influencing them, you need to collaborate with others. That day the Kings Fund published Leading across the health and care system: lessons from experience. The key findings are relevant to MSK clinical networks and to leading an alliance like ARMA:

  • Develop a shared purpose and vision
  • Have frequent personal contact
  • Surface and resolve conflicts
  • Behave altruistically towards each other
  • Commit to working together for the longer term

ARMA demonstrates these five findings in action as I saw most recently at the Policy and Communications meeting.

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