Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance

Not just what to do

by Sue Brown CEO

There is so much going on in the world of MSK it is sometimes hard to know where to start. I am constantly reminded of the vast range of good practice that exists out there. In the last few weeks I have heard about all kinds of activity, from trialling health trainers for joint pain in community settings, to the development of a toolkit for good MSK health for mobile workers.

But how do people working locally to improve services know what they might be able to achieve? And more importantly, how do they know what to do to implement good practice? ARMA is all about joining people up – patients with professionals, statutory and voluntary sectors, research and practice. We are also about sharing knowledge across the whole MSK sector.

Our next webinar on Friday 6 April, takes things back to fundamentals: how to understand the need out there in your local population and use that to plan services and to think about prevention. Sign up if you haven’t already. It’s going to be a practical and interesting session. This one will have broad relevance for health, social care and public health sectors.

In a discussion about improving primary care pathways last week I heard someone say: “Initially we went about it the wrong way.” This is what people need to know – not just what to do, but also how (and how not) to do it. That’s one of the things ARMA is planning to do with our webinars over the next year. We’re going to commission a How to…. series, where people who have delivered initiatives that work explain how they went about creating the change, including the lessons they learned along the way. Let us know if you are aware of a service that would make a good example.

If you are working to improve MSK services, you may also like to join our MSK Network Project. By joining you will be linked in to others working in your local area, informed of new initiatives, evidence and good practice that may be useful to you. Every local system is different and serves a different population. But they all share some things in common, one of which will be high, and increasing, levels of musculoskeletal conditions. We are all living longer, working longer, so it’s in all our interests to make sure we maintain good MSK health and can access the prevention and treatment services we need, when we need them. Collaboration is the way to make this easier. Collaboration is what ARMA is all about.

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