Covid-19 / Coronavirus info

by Garreth

Last updated 2/4/20 17:50

ARMA is working to support our members to share information and respond effectively to the coronavirus outbreak. Patient organisations are working to ensure people have the advice they need related to their condition or medication. Our professional members are working to ensure healthcare professionals have access to the information they need about the virus and also how to continue to provide healthcare support in the current situation.

ARMA is signposting to the most relevant information we can find and will update this page as new information becomes available. It includes information for for professionals, patients, parents and guidance for Wales and Scotland. 

General advice about social distancing including groups who may be more at risk:


Information for professionals

NHSE Speciality guides including:


  • Management of rheumatology patients which includes more information about levels of risk for different groups


  • Management of trauma and orthopaedic patients
  • Management of patients requiring spinal surgery
  • perioperative care of people with fragility fractures


  • Urgent and Emergency Musculoskeletal Conditions Requiring Onward Referral – to help primary or community care practitioners recognise serious pathology which requires emergency or urgent referral to secondary care in patients who present with new or worsening musculoskeletal (MSK) symptoms.
  • Management of patients with musculoskeletal and rheumatic conditions on corticosteroids

Can all be found here:

Identifying high risk patients who should be shielding – There is information on the BSR website about how this will be done in relation to rheumatology including a template of the letter patients will receive.

Information in the NHS website for patients about shielding.

Prioritisation within community services guidance – which services should stop, continue or change their provision, including podiatry, rehab, therapy and MSK services. Covers both children and young people services and adult and older people services. Includes a link to the new hospital discharge service requirements to free up beds and will be a priority for some of the services listed above. 

Guidance from the CSP on use of therapeutic corticosteroid injections during the COVID-19 pandemic

NHS letter: NEXT STEPS ON NHS RESPONSE TO COVID-19 – includes reference to postpone all non-urgent elective operations (1a, p2) and measures around GP, diagnostic or outpatient appointments (4b, p5)

Guidance from the CSP on implementing remote consultations

Information about NICE rapid guidelines on the active management of COVID-19 infection which will include rheumatology. NICE are also reviewing guidance on ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in relation to impact on covid-19 illness.

Guidance on infection prevention and control for COVID-19


Information for patients

A risk calculator for rheumatology patients to assess their risk and whether you should be isolating or shielding.

Many patient organisations have helplines and web-based information. 

Fibromyalgia UK:

Hypermobility Syndromes Association:

Lupus UK:

National Axial Spondyloarthritis Society (NASS): 

National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS): (info page);
and Here For You, a new service that allows you to arrange a callback with someone with RA who understands you:

Psoriasis Association:

Royal Osteoporosis Society:

Scleroderma & Raynaud’s UK (SRUK):

Versus Arthritis:


Information for patients and parents of children and young people

From SPARN (Scottish Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology Network)

CCCA Kids with Arthritis incorporating JIA Matters facebook group


Information for Wales

Guidance for professionals (nothing MSK specific)

Shielding advice – contact your local authority

Information for Scotland

Guidance for healthcare professionals

Shielding advice

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