Ride the wave

by Sue Brown, ARMA CEO

There’s been an optimistic feel to ARMA in the last week. A big part of this is down to our first ever virtual annual lecture. “Great lecture and discussion. As a patient I feel much more positive after listening to this!” said one person in the chat. Andrew Bennett opened the lecture with an update on the BestMSK Health Collaborative. This was followed by a wide ranging panel discussion on partnership with Public Health, Health Education and people living with MSK conditions.

The discussion touched on issues including coproduction, the importance of wider system working for prevention and the need to tackle inequalities. Any one of these could have made a lecture in themselves. If you missed the lecture you can view the recording online.

NHS England’s work on BestMSK Health is progressing with a team now in place to support it. It’s fantastic to see MSK getting the recognition and priority it has always deserved. We hope that you will soon see it being discussed at a local level and be able to get involved.

This optimism has continued as I plan out other ARMA activities. We have the beginnings of an agenda for our virtual conference, which we will be running again in early December. Look out for confirmation of the date shortly. The other new aspect of ARMA’s work in the planning stage is looking at health inequalities. This is a vital issue in MSK and we hope we can make a useful contribution to addressing this. I’ve also had a chance to raise the importance of MSK with NHS Providers in the form of this NHS Voices article on the NHS Confederation blog.

I don’t underestimate the challenges we face in creating real change. MSK services are complex and getting it right for everyone is a tough ask. The time to hold people and organisations to account if they haven’t delivered will come. Now is the time to ride this wave, get behind the vision, and have confidence that together we can deliver change.