Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance


PRESS RELEASE – 20 September 2011

Most people with arthritis would welcome the opportunity to manage their own Personal Health Budget according to initial survey results released today by Arthritis Research UK. 69% said they would accept a Personal Health Budget if offered and just 19% said they would not.

When the concept was explained, 58% of respondents said they thought Personal Health Budgets could enable them to have treatments that aren’t available on the NHS and which they can’t afford now. The vast majority (81%) said having a Personal Health Budget would make them feel more in control of their health condition, with only 5% disagreeing.

“This initial research shows that Personal Health Budgets could have a useful part to play in giving people with arthritis more control over their lives and better health outcomes”, said Liam O’Toole, chief executive of the charity. “We consider that they could also help to break down the barriers between health and social care, allowing better integration of services.”

The services that people were typically paying for out of their own pockets included massage, physiotherapy and podiatry. Nearly a half spent money on diet and nutritional supplements and over a third bought equipment to help them do everyday things.

The general view of those surveyed was that they would be pleased to have more choice about the services available to them and would welcome the chance to have more involvement in decisions about their health.

While 60% of people surveyed said they felt they would be informed enough to make a decision about how to spend a Personal Health Budget, over one in four (27%) disagreed. The sources of help to which people with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions said they would want to turn were, in descending rank order:

  • health professionals
  • people they knew with the same or similar health conditions
  • voluntary organisations
  • NHS sources
  • the internet
  • friends and family

“Provision of good quality information is going to be important in enabling this new system to work”, said Dr O’Toole, “and we intend to play our part in helping people with arthritis get the most out of any changes made to the way services are financed.”

Arthritis Research UK is undertaking a long-term programme of investigation into Personal Health Budgets and stressed that these were preliminary conclusions.


Further information:

Phillipa Jose and Casey Purkiss, Arthritis

Research UK press office,

0300 790 0400 or;

The survey was conducted in August and September 2011 among 161 people with arthritis or other musculoskeletal conditions, using a mixture of online and written questionnaires


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