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A Westminster Hall debate on National Arthritis Week 2016 has been tabled by the Backbench Business Committee on Thursday 20 October 2016. The debate will be led by Jim Shannon and Fiona Bruce.

Musculoskeletal conditions are relatively common in the UK. Most arthritis diagnoses are for Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis but there are a number of different types of the condition that can affect a wide variety of individuals.  Arthritis Research UK provide the following figures:

    Arthritis Research UK and the NHS choices websites provide useful further information on the diagnosis and treatment of different types of arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions. They also report on the impact arthritis and related musculoskeletal conditions may have on the daily lives of those affected.[4] [5]

    Prior to the Westminster Hall debate, there is a digital debate on Facebook, organised by Arthritis Research UK and the House of Commons digital outreach team on 17-19 October 2016. Individuals affected by arthritis are encouraged to get involved by responding to a number of questions. The Facebook page also highlights the Share your everyday campaign being run by Arthritis Research UK, which provides people with the opportunity to share their experiences of living with arthritis and learn from others. The charity report that a similar campaign last year helped inform research priorities for the following year and that it is hoped that this year’s campaign will have a similar impact:

    Figures from the prescription costs analysis report that £161 million was spent on community prescriptions for arthritis conditions in England in 2015.[2] The Office for National Statistics have reported that musculoskeletal conditions were responsible for 31 million sickness absence days from work in the UK in 2013- more than any other cause.[3]

    This year, we want even more people to get involved. The simple act of sharing your everyday experiences can shape the big ideas and little changes that will help to push back the limits of arthritis.

    Our chief executive officer, Dr Liam O’Toole, said: “Arthritis is the biggest cause of pain and disability in the UK, but we know that many people with arthritis often feel isolated by the pain and fatigue of their condition.

    “We’ve seen the impact that last year’s campaign has had on our research. It would be fantastic if this year even more people shared their everyday with us, to help us continue to harness the power of exceptional science and push back the limits of arthritis.

    “With everyone’s support, we can continue to invest in breakthrough treatments, the best information and vital support for everyone affected by arthritis today, and in the future.

    Share your everyday experiences of living with arthritis to help us find your everyday freedom.[6]

    [1]     Arthritis Research UK, Who gets arthritis? [accessed 18 October 2016]

    [2]     NHS Prescription Costs analysis England 2015

    [3]     ONS, Sickness absence in the labour market: February 2014

    [4]     NHS Choices, Living with arthritis, November 2015

    [5]     Arthritis Research UK, Arthritis and daily life [accessed 18 October 2016]

    [6]     Arthritis Research UK, Share your Everyday and help push back the limits of arthritis, 12 October 2016


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