In 1968, the Beatles topped the charts with Hey Jude. That's the same year the medical exemption list for Prescription Charges was written up. Treatments for RA, JIA and other long-term conditions have come on a lot in that time but other than the addition of Cancer in 2009 the list hasn't changed.
Many of you know that campaigning for all long-term conditions to be added to the exemption list is one of NRAS’s campaign priorities for the year. We're pleased to have stepped up to join Parkinson’s UK and Crohn’s & Colitis as co-chairs of the Prescription Charges Coalition. In ...
Joint release from: British Society for Rheumatology and National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society
Rheumatology and arthritis societies raise concerns for arthritis services in Wales and call for more support to improve long-term patient outcomes.
The number of patients referred to rheumatology departments in Wales has increased by 66% since 2012, but resources for treatment are not keeping up with the demand, say patients and clinicians. As a consequence, new patients are waiting longer to be seen and treated and existing patients are struggling to secure follow up appointments and self-management advice.
These findings are important as there are 25,000 ...
The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine (FSEM) UK welcomes new rules by the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) to ban the advertising of high fat, salt and sugar food and drink products in children’s media and supports both the Obesity Health Alliance (OHA) and the Children's Food Campaign in their responses to the measures, calling for loopholes to be closed.
The FSEM, as part of the OHA, is calling for a sustained increase in regular physical activity, according to UK Chief Medical Officer guidelines, to be part of all children's daily routines to prevent and manage obesity, alongside measures to reduce the consumption of ...
NICE’s updated guideline on low back pain and sciatica recommends exercise in all its forms - for example stretching, strengthening, aerobics or yoga - as the first step in managing the condition.
The guideline also recommends encouraging people to continue with normal activities as far as possible. However the guideline says massage and manipulation should only be used with exercise because there is not enough evidence to show they are of benefit when used alone.
The updated guideline has been expanded to include people with sciatica, a painful condition typically caused by irritation or compression of the nerves which run from the ...
What is a good outcome?
We’re two years into delivery of the Five Year Forward View, the document heralded as a blueprint for bridging the gaps in finance, quality and prevention. Chapter Two of that seminal document sets out a vision for a ‘new relationship with people and communities’…
But what does that actually mean?
The Realising the Value programme has spent 18 months seeking to turn those words into a more deliverable reality. It is an important body of work delivered by Nesta, the Health Foundation, National Voices, Regional Voices, NAVCA, Volunteering Matters and others.
The team behind the programme have examined the ...
On 2nd November, NRAS held its 5th Healthcare Champions awards ceremony in Portcullis House, Westminster, with the kind permission of the Prime Minister and NRAS Founding Patron, the Rt. Hon Theresa May MP.
The event was a resounding success with over 80 NRAS Members, healthcare professionals, MPs and special guests attending.
The awards provide the opportunity to celebrate the dedication, professionalism and excellent care given by those healthcare professionals that go ‘the extra mile’ to provide the best possible outcomes for the many people living with RA and JIA, whilst also working in a challenging environment of NHS reforms and financial cuts.
Between 20 and 30% of a GP caseload is made up of patients with musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions; by expanding the availability of physiotherapy in general practice, GP time is freed up and patients are put in the driving seat, receiving the right care from the right professional. Physiotherapists are experts regarding MSK issues and have the same high safety record as GPs.
There are already examples of experienced physiotherapists working alongside GPs as the first point of contact for MSK patients. These examples show high patient and GP satisfaction rates, decreased x-ray, MRI and orthopaedic referrals.
The CSP has produced a suite ...
Fracture Liaison Services hold key to addressing crisis in osteoporosis, attendees at National Osteoporosis conference hear
The growing crisis in osteoporosis causing 300,000 debilitating fractures and costing the NHS £1.9bn every year can be effectively addressed by implementing and improving Fracture Liaison Services throughout hospitals and clinics across the UK, attendees at the National Osteoporosis Society conference in Birmingham heard in November.
Dr Kassim Javaid, Consultant in Metabolic Medicine at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust - who spoke about Fracture Liaison Services at the conference - said: “The enormous personal cost of the often debilitating fractures caused ...
National Voices has published 'Involving patients and citizens: I Statements for research and innovation'.
The document was developed with voluntary sector organisations and people with lived experience as part of the recently published Accelerated Access Review.
A major new body of work has concluded that person-centred approaches are pivotal to improving health and care during financially restrained times.
The Realising the Value programme has conducted a thorough analysis of the evidence for person- and community-centred approaches, worked with five frontline sites across England, and published tools, recommendations and economic modelling to show how they can be successfully implemented.
Aimed at health and care system leaders, commissioners and front-line professionals, the resources from the programme conclude that person- and community- centred approaches are pivotal to improving wellbeing outcomes during financially restrained times.
For more, visit www.realisingthevalue.org
Guest blog by Dr Justin Varney, National Lead for Adult Health and Wellbeing, Public Health England
Musculoskeletal health issues, along with mental health issues, continue to account for the majority of sickness absence in the UK. It is estimated that 9.5 million working days are lost each year due to musculoskeletal health problems and over a third of all long-term sickness absence in England.
MSK conditions can affect people at any age and at any point in their career. One in eight people of working age in the UK have a musculoskeletal issue and the prevalence of MSK conditions in the ...
The AS-it-is Patient Voice & Patient Choice campaign launches on 2 November 2016 in the Houses of Parliament.
It aims to:
Promote the upcoming National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Clinical Guidelines for Spondyloarthritis
Celebrate existing good practice by health care professionals
Promote written care plans
NASS believes proper implementation of the Guidelines will help to improve the current 8.5 year average delay to diagnosis for people with axial spondyloarthritis, including ankylosing spondylitis (AS).
NASS are celebrating good practice by healthcare professionals through our Patients’ Choice Awards. In June 2016, people with AS were asked to vote in various categories for healthcare professionals, giving reasons for ...
The Arthritis Research UK Policy and Public Affairs team attended the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat party conferences in England and the SNP conference in Scotland. Notable meetings include Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State at the DWP, the Labour shadow health team and Aileen Campbell Minister for Public Health and Sport at Holyrood.
Westminster Hall Debate
The Policy and Public Affairs team, worked to secure the debate to coincide with Share Your Everyday campaign. The parliamentary debate, led by the Strangford MP Jim Shannon, highlighted the pain, isolation and fatigue that millions of people with arthritis live with every day. 15 ...
by Paul Hitchcock, Chief Executive Officer of the British Acupuncture Council
We have an ageing population. Many of that population have multiple conditions. We have already reached a situation where the provision of health and care is problematic under the current system; too many people with too many conditions with insufficient cash or workforce capacity to enable their support.
Yet the system continues to take a reductive approach to treatments and support services. Commissioners or policy makers stop services or treatments when a new innovation is proposed so that, although they can claim to be cutting edge, in reality the system provides ...
Westminster Hall Debate
We have, through our ‘Arthritis Champions’ in the House of Commons, moved a backbench debate in Westminster Hall, to be held on Thursday 20 October. This debate will be discussing, primarily the themes of Arthritis Research UK’s Share Your Everyday campaign and we will be briefing MPs as such.
In support of our campaign, we aim for this debate to be an opportunity for MPs to share their own experiences of arthritis in order to encourage more people with arthritis to tell with their own stories about living with the condition and how it affects their day-to-day lives.
The focus ...
89% of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients in Scotland say condition affects their daily activities yet unaware of eligibility for help with care and support from their local council.
The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS), today publishes ‘Who Cares? A report on the health and perceived social care needs of people with rheumatoid arthritis in Scotland’. NRAS conducted a survey of 387 people with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), to gain greater understanding of the wider care and support needs of people with RA in Scotland and the factors which contribute to them.
There are nearly 690,000 people across the United Kingdom with RA and ...
The Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance, an alliance of prominent health charities, professional and research bodies, today [Thursday 15th September 2016] welcomed a ground-breaking World Health Organisation action plan to tackle a tidal wave of musculoskeletal conditions in Europe . The Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases in the WHO European Region, which was approved by WHO Europe’s Regional Committee today, includes specific priority actions by all European countries to stem the rise in musculoskeletal conditions and to improve overall health.
Musculoskeletal conditions affect the bones, muscles and joints, and are the single biggest cause of disability and ...
by Rob Yeldham, Director of Strategy, Policy & Engagement for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.
Musculoskeletal disorders are the largest cause of disability in the UK. Some conditions may be caused by, or exasperated by, work. Others are not work related but impact on the ability of people to work. Only around six in ten working age people with an MSK are in work. Many people with arthritis are hiding their condition at work for fear of their employer’s reaction. So how can we support people working and managing MSDs?
Many ARMA members are already engaging employers and policy makers to address ...
Whether at the individual, organisational or indeed national level, when we scan the horizon in front of us and try to set out the path ahead for ourselves, it is occasionally useful also to look back at where we have come from.
ARMA began life in 1972 as the British League Against Rheumatism, and in 1996 changed its name to what it is today. With time, our membership expanded and grew to include a broad range of organisations, both professional and patient-led, including the British Orthopaedic Association, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Arthritis Research UK and the National Osteoporosis Society - ...
National Voices' Wellbeing Our Way programme brings together charities, community organisations and individuals. We work together to develop culture and practice across the voluntary sector to enable people with health needs to live well, in ways that matter to them.
As Wellbeing Our Way reaches its two year milestone, this Impact Report provides a valuable opportunity to reflect on our journey to date: what’s working well, what we’ve learnt, and what’s next for Wellbeing Our Way. It offers an overview of our activities and progress, and shares our impact as reported by those involved in the programme.
79% of participants report that their knowledge, ...
NASS are delighted to hear that NICE has recommended secukinumab (Cosentyx®) as an option for treating active AS in adults whose disease has responded inadequately to conventional therapy (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or TNF-alpha inhibitors).
This recommendation has been published by NICE in what is called a Final Appraisal Determination (FAD). This means that there is still the possibility that an organisation could appeal against the decision. Any appeal must be received by 18 August 2016. However, we hope it will move quickly to become guidance. We will keep you updated.
The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has also completed its assessment of secukinumab and we are also delighted ...
Part of the work of the National Osteoporosis Society involves offering our views and expert opinions to those writing reports, standards and guidelines produced by the NHS, NICE and a wide range of health organisations. This work ensures those making decisions about health take osteoporosis into account.
Our policy team is currently busy with consultation responses for a number of different organisations.
We are feeding into NICE’s forthcoming update to the Quality standard on menopause, falls, hip fractures and osteoporosis which is due for publication in November 2016.
We are also submitting a response to Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme’s Draft guidance on ...
by Dr Jill Firth, BHPR President, Consultant Nurse in Rheumatology and Director for Service Improvement at the Pennine Musculoskeletal Partnership Ltd in Oldham.
Over the past 20 years of working as a special ist nurse, I have witnessed first-hand the changing face of care for people with Musculoskeletal conditions (MSK) – particularly Rheumatoid Arthritis – leading to better outcomes for patients.
This can, in part, be attributed to advances in treatment strategies, including biologic therapies, but is also a consequence of better access to care provided by a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) comprising consultant rheumatologists, specialist nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and podiatrists as ...
Arthritis Care's innovative commissioned service with West Berkshire Commissioning Support Unit (CSU), covering four Clinical Commissioning Groups, has moved from a two-year pilot to a contracted service. The service enables individuals to make better informed decisions around if and when to undergo knee or hip replacement surgery.Joe Smart, Transformation Lead from the CSU confirmed "a new contract has been agreed with Arthritis Care which offers excellent value for money and enables the charity to bring in additional resources to provide the service on a larger scale".The NHS has confirmed that the service saw 642 patients over two years, of which ...
In Portugal, the authorities are planning what to do regarding the introduction of biosimilars. Biologic medicines are fully reimbursed by the NHS (either patients do the treatment in a hospital setting, or they can have the prescription to collect the product in hospital pharmacies, according to which biologic treatment they are prescribed).Patients and patients organisations are concerned with the possibility of interchangeability if the authorities decide to make biosimilars available by purchase only.Could you let us know how is this being dealt with in your countries?Are you aware of any evidence regarding interchangeability?If you would like to share your experiences ...
Work and Pensions committeeArthritis Research UK gave evidence to the Work and Pensions committee as part of its inquiry into the disability employment gap. The committee was hearing from a range of charities and trusts involved in the sector across two sessions, and representatives from Rethink Mental Illness, Leonard Cheshire Disability, and United Response joined Dr Karen Walker-Bone, representing Arthritis Research UK, on the panel for the second session. The session went well, with Dr Walker-Bone putting across many of the key messages from our Working with arthritis report and each organisation’s evidence complemented one another. Aids and Adaptations UpdateFor the ...
Four in every five patients with early inflammatory arthritis are at risk of long-term disability and reduced life expectancy due to delays in NHS treatment.2nd annual report – National Clinical Audit for Rheumatoid and Early Inflammatory ArthritisUp to a million Britons are at risk of preventable, long-term disability and reduced life expectancy due to delays in referrals to specialist advice and treatment services, according to the most comprehensive audit of rheumatology services carried out across England and Wales.The report by the British Society for Rheumatology reveals that nationally just 20 per cent of patients who see a GP with suspected ...
by Professor Matthew Cripps, National Director of NHS RightCare
It's now six months since NHS RightCare was launched nationally. This involved 65 local health economies ('wave one') receiving support and facilitation to embed the approach, and we're still growing as a programme to roll out to the 144 remaining health economies in England at the end of 2016.
Things are progressing at pace with the first 65, we're at the exciting point now where CCGs have confirmed their big opportunities for improvement, taking Commissioning for Value insight as their starting point. This means we are now actively involved in several hundred programmes ...
Restrictions to Treatments and Services, ARMA Survey 2015-16
ARMA carried out a survey between 12th November 2015 and 15th January 2016 on whether people with musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions had experienced any restrictions on accessing treatment and/or services. The survey was conducted using Survey Monkey and was distributed via the ARMA newsletter and through our membership.
Open and download the survey infographic as a pdf.
Lack of understanding within primary care - GPs had limited knowledge of conditions and the impact of MSK conditions on people’s lives
Lack of referrals to specialists. This is especially important for people diagnosed with Inflammatory Arthritis who should ...
It’s hard to describe a month like the one we’ve just had, which has been characterised by many positive things for our community, but overshadowed by external events. Like me, many of you will feel worried and dismayed at the result of the EU referendum. There is no denying that whatever the practical implications of it – politically, for the NHS, for our respective areas of work – and whatever actually ends up happening at the end of what could well turn out to be a long and winding road, this result casts tremendous uncertainty over the UK, and Europe, ...
“Health policy across the world has ignored diseases which affect the quality of lives and independence of people living with them and focused on those with high mortality such on cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Now with people living longer it is time for priority to be placed on dealing with this enormous burden from arthritis, back pain and other musculoskeletal conditions to prevent unnecessary pain and disability and enable people to keep independent.’’
Professor Anthony Woolf, Chair of the Bone and Joint Decade (BJD) International Co-ordinating Council, from the Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro
The Global Burden of Disease study 2010, researched by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, is the first comprehensive study of the impact of all diseases and risk factors worldwide. The GBD data referring to the UK points to musculoskeletal conditions as being responsible for nearly one third of the entire national burden of disability.
Health Policy in the Media
Articles posted on external websites.
Prioritising Musculoskeletal Disorders
“By making musculoskeletal care a priority, the government and NHS can make significant savings in healthcare as well as for the economy. It is time to bring these conditions and the people who live with them to the forefront of health policy to enable better management and outcomes as well as much-needed financial savings.’’
Musculoskeletal disorders are very broad and do not always fit neatly into our current, biomedically-dominated approach to delivering, and measuring outcomes in, healthcare. They are often complex, are associated with many co-morbidities and many of them tend to fluctuate.
Federico Moscogiuri and GP Dr Tom Margham, lead for primary care at Arthritis Research UK, co-author an article in GP Online which interprets the findings of the Global Burden of Disease report.
Musculoskeltal disorders can be managed effectively in primary care
Early diagnosis, prompt referral and specialist intervention is essential for some inflammatory forms of arthritis, for example rheumatoid arthritis. But many people with MSDs, the vast majority of whom have osteoarthritis, can be managed effectively in primary care, if the care they receive includes a strong element of self-management and support to remain independent.
Dr Alan Nye and Federico Moscogiuri, our director, co-authored this article on shared-decision making, spending variation and consultant-led pathways. It was published in gponline.com.
Is back, neck and muscle pain hurting the UK economy?
Almost 31 million days of work were lost in 2013 due to back, neck and muscle problems, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The Labour Force Survey found that musculoskeletal conditions accounted for more prolonged absences than any other ailment.
Every time you get people in health to talk about the big issues facing the sector, you can be sure that the issue of joined-up working and joined-up care will come up. And when you start talking about joined-up working, you’re not far from talking about networks.
Read this post by ARMA’s Federico Moscogiuri on the National Voices website.
Health Policy Presentations
“How do we get policy makers to take musculoskeletal health and conditions seriously?”
This chart is taken from a fascinating, illustrative PowerPoint presentation document by Professor Anthony D Woolf, of the Bone and Joint Decade.
“Domain 2: Enhancing the quality of life for people with long-term conditions.”
Dr. Martin McShane, NHS Commissioning Board lead for Domain Two (Improving the quality of life for people with long-term conditions) was our guest speaker at the 4th annual ARMA Lecture. It took place on 21 November 2012 at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
Click the video image to see the slides and hear his presentation. The video should open with Windows Media Player (25 minutes, slides+audio).
In 1968, the Beatles topped the charts with Hey Jude. That’s the same year the medical exemption list for Prescription Charges was written up. Treatments for RA, JIA and other long-term conditions have come on a lot in that time but other than the addition of Cancer in 2009 the list hasn’t changed. Many of …Read More
Joint release from: British Society for Rheumatology and National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society Rheumatology and arthritis societies raise concerns for arthritis services in Wales and call for more support to improve long-term patient outcomes. The number of patients referred to rheumatology departments in Wales has increased by 66% since 2012, but resources for treatment are not …Read More
The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine (FSEM) UK welcomes new rules by the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) to ban the advertising of high fat, salt and sugar food and drink products in children’s media and supports both the Obesity Health Alliance (OHA) and the Children’s Food Campaign in their responses to the measures, calling for loopholes …Read More
Last month the Government announced a major consultation on helping disabled people and people with health conditions into work: Improving lives: the Work, Health and Disability Green Paper. The Green Paper, published on 31 October by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health, looks at new ways to support people with …Read More
What is a good outcome? We’re two years into delivery of the Five Year Forward View, the document heralded as a blueprint for bridging the gaps in finance, quality and prevention. Chapter Two of that seminal document sets out a vision for a ‘new relationship with people and communities’… But what does that actually mean? …Read More
Between 20 and 30% of a GP caseload is made up of patients with musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions; by expanding the availability of physiotherapy in general practice, GP time is freed up and patients are put in the driving seat, receiving the right care from the right professional. Physiotherapists are experts regarding MSK issues and have …Read More
National Voices has published ‘Involving patients and citizens: I Statements for research and innovation‘. The document was developed with voluntary sector organisations and people with lived experience as part of the recently published Accelerated Access Review.
Fracture Liaison Services hold key to addressing crisis in osteoporosis, attendees at National Osteoporosis conference hear The growing crisis in osteoporosis causing 300,000 debilitating fractures and costing the NHS £1.9bn every year can be effectively addressed by implementing and improving Fracture Liaison Services throughout hospitals and clinics across the UK, attendees at the National …Read More