Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance

Colin-Beevor-Guest-Blog-nlby Colin Beevor, Matron and Service Manager, Musculoskeletal OPD Services

They say “it’s good to talk” and after the inaugural ARMA Portsmouth Network Meeting, I would agree.

Although leading up to the event you are always worried that you will not get the numbers turning out – I’ll say here that planning was the key to success – I shouldn’t have worried. A small number of the ARMA Local network got behind the event, giving their support and assisting with the details. So on the day, Wednesday 3rd February 2016, the ARMA Membership were well represented, with over 60 delegates attending.

Our Key Note Speaker was Peter Kay, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon National Clinical Director for MSK. He outlined how the NHS is facing huge financial and workforce challenges against a background of rising and changing demand. He discussed the need for adapting models of care to meet the 21st century healthcare challenges of Musculoskeletal Care, acknowledging multiple long-term physical and mental health conditions, frailty and ageing. Peter encouraged those present to think about how the wider health community (managers, commissioners, MSK professionals and patient groups) needs to work more closely to help everyone to get the most from their local resources.

Nick Brooks of NHS Portsmouth CCG presented the 2015 patient and public survey on long term conditions, a survey with 709 respondents. During his introduction, Mr. Books described the background and purpose of the survey. It is anticipated that it will identify from a patient’s perspective what is needed to be improved within primary and secondary care for people living with long term conditions. The survey recommendations acknowledged an NHS environment where there’s a growing population with complex health needs, coupled with stretched financial and manpower resources.

Mr. Brooks outlined some of the key findings and reviewed the next steps around group discussions with locally-established patient forums. His work will look at the outcomes of the survey and aim to understand the views of patients and the public, looking for ways to optimize long-term care conditions and management.

For more information about this consultation visit

Roger Stevens (Portsmouth NASS Chair and Co-Chair of Portsmouth and District Meeting, ARMA Local Network): “It’s good just to have a connection with other patient organisations, healthcare professionals and commissioners; that is really the main goal of this group, to get to together with the Musculoskeletal Community, share information, ideas and discuss with others who understand what it takes to provide quality patient care and services.”

Claire Jeffries (co-Chair Portsmouth and District Meeting, ARMA Local Network): “We hope to continue to get the word out about the group and gain new membership from charities, patient support groups and health care professionals from Orthopaedics and Chronic Pain services as well as commissioners and GPs. We will evaluate what delegates today have told us and propose a local work/ action plan”.

Looking at how the day went, it was amazing to see what a wealth of different skills and knowledge we had within the planning team, which helped us to engage with the attendees, and also the enthusiasm to build an ongoing successful partnership working relationships.

My advice is to strive for great MSK patient care and services. Whoever you need to talk to, start the conversation and build on small successes.

Anyone interested in joining the group can email us anytime to be added to the contacts list – contact Colin Beevor, Secretary via email

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