Panorama NHS: Wait or Pay

The number of people waiting for hospital treatment in England has hit a record high of 5.61 million, as the NHS struggles to clear the growing backlog of cases caused by COVID-19. In a BBC Panorama programme on 27 September, Victoria Derbyshire met some of those on the waiting list and heard about the profound effects it is having on their lives.

Watch the programme


Building back inclusively

NHS reportThe NHS Confederation has published a briefing on Building back inclusively: Radical approaches to tackling the elective backlog.

There is evidence suggesting that waiting lists have grown more rapidly in more deprived areas during the pandemic. There are good reasons to believe that the current approach to elective care, whereby patients are treated in the order they present for care, exacerbates inequalities and worsens health outcomes. The briefing sets out a package of measures, including the politically uncomfortable step … Read this article

Workforce planning chart for MSK

The launch of NHS England’s Best MSK Health programme gives the population’s musculoskeletal health in England a focus and priority like never before, and much needed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

NHS England waiting times data shows people with serious MSK conditions needing diagnosis and treatment by rheumatology and elective care services are waiting much longer. The same is true for community MSK services and treatment. At the other end of the spectrum, for people who previously had … Read this article

#BestMSKHealth programme launch

NHS England has launched a new programme with the aim of sustaining the delivery of evidence-informed, personalised, high-quality integrated healthcare of value to all. This new initiative, part of the Pathways for Better Health Programme, significantly increases the resource to support MSK service delivery.

The programme covers the breadth of MSK including orthopaedics, rheumatology and pain, spanning primary secondary and community services. You can watch the launch event here.

The programme has ten workstreams, each led by … Read this article

White Paper on NHS Reform

Policy Paper

Integration and innovation: Working together to improve health and social care for all

Updated 11 February 2021

The Government published a white paper, “Integration and innovation: Working together to improve health and social care for all” on 11 February 2021. This sets out proposals for changes in legislation with the aim of enabling integration within the NHS in England and between the NHS, local government and other health system partners. The proposals are grouped under four … Read this article

New Report on workforce challenges

The role of osteopaths as AHPs in the NHS

An independent panel of leading healthcare professionals, chaired by Professor Adrian Newland CBE, has authored a report including its findings on the role of osteopaths as Allied Health Professionals within the NHS, and their potential to provide much needed additional capacity to the delivery of NHS MSK services to improve patient care.

The report was launched at a virtual event with NHS commissioners, at which Sue Brown, CEO of ARMA, joined … Read this article

NHS extends testing of non-urgent care waiting times target changes

If you are referred for specialist non-urgent treatment, you currently should expect to be treated within a maximum waiting time of 18 weeks. Over the last year, the NHS has been reviewing this 18-week target. ARMA has been involved in the advisory group looking at this change.

The NHS England board meeting on 30 January announced plans to extend the testing period for proposed changes to the 18-week elective care measure into 2020/21.

This joint response was issued by National … Read this article

Guest blog: Social prescribing – connecting people with communities

by Simon Chapman, Deputy Director, Personalised Care Group, NHS England.

Twelve years ago I was working for a charity just north of Kings Cross. My office looked out on a derelict area of forgotten buildings and toxic land. Over the next 10 years, things gradually changed as the infrastructure was renewed: old buildings were renovated and new spaces and buildings were created for people and communities to visit, use and inhabit. Now, where there was wasteland, parents watch their children … Read this article

How can we ensure general practice is fit for the future?

by Duleep Allirajah, Assistant Director of Policy and Campaigns, RCGP

As any patient who struggled to book a GP appointment will know only too well, general practice in the UK is under immense strain. Demand for appointments is rising and GPs are seeing more patients with complex needs. At the same time, practices are closing, workloads are reaching unsafe levels and burnt-out GPs are quitting the profession. That is why the Royal College of General Practitioners decided the time was … Read this article

Putting musculoskeletal conditions in the NHS health check at 40?

Following initial policy direction in the Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s green paper in July, on Friday 16 August the Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock announced an evidence-based review into the NHS Health Check service. Alongside suggestions that checks are personalised in future, the review will consider ‘increasing the range of advice the checks can offer – for example, prevention of musculoskeletal problems’. This is a brilliant opportunity to make sure that people are routinely asked … Read this article