ARMA thursday Update arthritis

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					ARMA 4thursday
July 2008

Please forward this to any colleagues within your
organisations or networks who may be interested in
ARMA’s work.

Staff at ARMA
Ros Meek, Director
Marie Crozier, Networks Development Officer


ARMA is looking for a new member of staff to assist
with administration and project- manage some new
initiatives. If you would like further information
about this opportunity please contact Ros Meek in
the ARMA office or by e mail.

Members meeting and AGM
The AGM was held in London on 16th July and was well
attended by many of our member organisations and
local networks.

New Trustees:

Neil Betteridge Chair of ARMA congratulated the three new
Ailsa Bosworth, NRAS
Peter Skew, BIMM
Anthony Redmond (2nd 3 year term) and new Vice Chair

Neil Betteridge announced the Board co option of a new Treasurer,
Phil Monks who would be taking up office immediately post AGM.
The meeting was addressed by Professor David Colin Thome who is
the Director of Primary Care at the Department of Health. One
outcome of the meeting is that ARMA will present to the long term
conditions board of the Department of Health on arthritis and
musculoskeletal conditions. The issue that arthritis is not on the Darzi
list of long term conditions will be raised.

NICE Appraisal of anti-TNF Treatment

Thousands of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients have been denied
effective NHS treatments on the basis of cost. The move – by the
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) –
withdraws currently available treatment options and has been
branded „a prescription for pain‟ by the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal
Alliance (ARMA).

The NICE appraisal document on sequential treatment for rheumatoid
arthritis prevents the NHS patients from trying a different anti-TNF
treatment to control their RA if the first has been unsuccessful.

Anti-TNFs are prescribed for patients with active or severe RA and
rheumatologists can choose between three treatments. At the
moment it is common practice for rheumatologists to switch a patient
to another anti-TNF if the first or previous treatment is poorly
tolerated or lacks effectiveness for that individual patient. Between
20,000 and 40,000 people in England and Wales are taking an anti-
TNF at any time, and 50% have needed to switch treatments at least
Professor Rob Moots, ARMA clinician and Professor of
Rheumatology at the University of Liverpool, said: “It‟s almost
impossible to know which anti-TNF will work for a patient at the
outset. Before this decision we could try patients on each of the three
treatments in turn to find one that was effective for them – now we
only have one shot at success.

  “This flies in the face of clinical judgment. Many patients will be left
in astonishing pain, while knowing we haven‟t explored all the options
for them.”

Ros Meek, Director of ARMA said:
  “Rheumatoid arthritis is a debilitating disease and living with it is an
extremely painful experience. NICE‟s decision takes away access to
a normal and independent life for the many thousands of people
battling with the condition. It also totally contradicts Lord Darzi‟s
pronouncements in his recent review of the NHS - in particular his
focus on patient choice and patient empowerment. It‟s a prescription
for pain.”

The draft guidance is available for information at
tory until 1 August 2008.

Lord Darzi Review – High Quality Care for All

Lord Darzi has launched the Next Stage Review final report.

High Quality Care For All sets a new foundation for a health service
that empowers staff and gives patients choice. It ensures that health
care will be personalised and fair, include the most effective
treatments within a safe system, and help patients to stay healthy.

The report will give patients more say through initiatives such as care
plans for those with long term conditions, a guarantee that the most
effective drugs will be available to all, and provide the right to choose
care providers, including GPs. Personal budgets will be piloted for
5000 patients with complex conditions.
People will be helped to stay healthy through the investment of record
amounts in wellbeing and prevention services. The new “Reduce
Your Risk” campaign to raise awareness of free vascular checks for
40-74 year-olds.

Front line staff will be enabled to initiate and lead change that
improves quality of care for patients. There will be no new targets
from the centre, with service providers accountable to patients and
the public. There will be a clinical voice at every level of the service,
and investment in new programmes of clinical leadership.

A new workforce strategy will fully support NHS staff. The new
independent body NHS Medical Education England will scrutinise
workforce planning proposals for doctors and dentists. The
investment in foundation periods for nurses will triple and a new tariff-
based system for education funding will see funding follow the
student, improving transparency and rewarding quality.

To view an interactive version of the report click here


British Society of Rehabilitation Medicine

The 11th Annual Advanced Rehabilitation Course will take place at:-

The Best Western Midland Hotel

Midland Road



10 – 12 September 2008

This is an intensive course with a multidisciplinary team. It includes
key elements of the core training for Rehabilitation Medicine.
Suitable for Consultants, Medical Trainees and other Rehabilitation
Professionals. CDP applied for.

download details here

The Long term Conditions Alliance have published their quarterly
newsletter in anticipation of the party conference season.

CONNECT contains an update of news and views from the LTCA and
is available to download here

Back Care

New Chief Executive for BackCare

BackCare, the charity for healthier backs, is delighted to announce
the appointment of Sash Newman as its new Chief Executive. She
takes over from Nia Taylor who is stepping down at the end of July
after eight successful years at the charity.

Sash joins BackCare from Criminal Barristers‟ Chambers where she
is Practice Development Manager. She has over 20 years experience
of strategic planning, customer relationship management and
communications. For ten years she ran her own training and
consultancy business before joining the National Missing Persons
Helpline where she became Head of External Development with
responsibility for the charity‟s work with government departments and
fundraising. She is a trustee of the charity, Directory of Social

Sash has a degree in Archaeology from Sheffield University, and has
just completed her second year of an MSc in Criminology and
Criminal Justice.

Mike McKiernan, Chairman of the BackCare trustees welcomed the
appointment as a significant step in the forty-year history of the
charity. “We have a major opportunity to build on BackCare‟s hard-
won reputation as the leading authority and campaigner on all
aspects of back health.”

Sash says “ I am looking forward to the exciting challenge of taking
BackCare on to the next level in its development and am very lucky to
have a firm foundation of success and reputation on which to build.”

The appointment commences 4 August 2008.

More news from BackCare can be viewed here

The Scleroderma Society

The Scleroderma Society AGM/Conference will take place at :-

The Royal Free Hospital

Pond Street


2 August 2008


A buffet lunch will be provided, to be followed by an afternoon
programme of international and UK speakers.

Please contact 020 7000 1925 or 07903 397787 for further details.

World Arthritis Day

About World Arthritis Day

On World Arthritis Day, people with arthritis from around the world
join together to make their voices heard and raise awareness of

The aims of World Arthritis Day are:

To raise awareness of arthritis in all its forms among the medical
community, people with arthritis and the general public

To influence public policy by making decision-makers aware of the
burden of arthritis and the steps which can be taken to ease it
To ensure all people with arthritis and their caregivers are aware of
the vast support network available to them.

This year the theme for World Arthritis Day (12 October) is „Think
Positive‟. This theme acknowledges that the challenges associated
with arthritis/rheumatism can also get you down emotionally, but that
there are a number of positive things you can do to help you feel
better in yourself and get more from your life.

This would be a useful vehicle for ARMA local networks to use to help
to get messages across to the PCT. Maybe you could carry out your
own local survey of members of user groups to see what would help
them to feel positive about their condition. It may bring to light issues
about access to hydrotherapy or exercise or issues with employers.
An exhibition in the local library or health centre can help to raise
awareness too. Let us know of your succeses.

Click here for further information about World Arthritis Day and to
take part in the Think Positive Survey

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists

CSP Awards
Do you know a physiotherapist or assistant who deserves special
recognition for their contribution to services and the well being of

The second annual Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Awards
will take place in London on 24th November and this is your chance
to make a nomination.
The award categories

Physiotherapists, assistants and other professionals and members of
the public can nominate for:

      Assistant of the Year
      Achievement of Excellence in Improving the Patient Experience
      Achievement of Excellence in Improving Service Delivery

Physiotherapists, assistants and other professionals may also
nominate for the following:

      Outstanding Newcomer of the Year

Download further details here

Focus on the Musculoskeletal Specialist Library

The Musculoskeletal Specialist Library is being developed by and for
all health professional working in this field in the UK. Make this your
starting-off point for information. Help shape the library to meet your
needs. Tell us what you like (or don‟t like!) and what you would like
to see in the library

Email the Project co-ordinator with suggestions, comments or


For more information about ARMA, or if you have received this email
from a colleague but would prefer to receive it directly, please contact
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