Influencing Government to do more for people with arthritis
Living with arthritis can be difficult at the best of times, but with the increasingly turbulent economic situation leading to real cost of living pressures, we know it is more important than ever to be increasingly vocal to influence the Government to improve support for those living with arthritis.
At Versus Arthritis, we have a dedicated team whose job it is to influence key decision makers across the UK, to improve Government policy on a range of issues, and support the quality of life for people with arthritis.
On this year’s World Arthritis Day on 12 October the Policy and Public Affairs team launched an open letter to the Prime Minister, calling on the Government to do more for the 20 million people with arthritis and MSK conditions. While the Prime Minister has changed since then, the urgent issues people with arthritis and MSK conditions are facing this winter have not.
So far, we have over 15,000 people supporting our calls for the Government to:
- increase support to people who need additional heating to maintain their health, including expanding the eligibility for the Warm Homes Discount
- ringfence orthopaedic capacity across the winter to ensure that treatment is not disrupted for people with arthritis
- make sure that people on waiting lists get the support they need.
We plan to deliver this letter to the Prime Minister early in the new year so would welcome your crucial support. If you, as healthcare professionals, have any questions about our influencing work, then please feel free to email our Policy team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your patients need additional information and advice about arthritis, please encourage them to contact our helpline advisors on 0800 5200520.
What people with arthritis are telling us
Versus Arthritis carried out a cost-of-living survey for one week in September 2022 to which 3873 responded, of which over 95% have arthritis.
- 92% said they were concerned about the cost of heating their homes this winter
- 17% of respondents said that due to the cost-of-living crisis, they were finding it more difficult to travel to health appointments
- 5% said they were struggling to afford medication
- 6% said they’d had to cut back on care or support compared to this time last year
- 29% said they were skipping meals or eating less due to the cost-of-living crisis.
What can you do to help people struggling with the cost-of-living?
You can signpost your patients to our resources and helpline for additional support and advice. We know just how nerve-wracking it can be if you or your patients are dealing with money worries. We get enquiries 24/7 from hundreds of people who need our help.
So, if you know someone with arthritis that might be struggling to cope with the cost-of-living crisis, remember they don’t have to face these problems alone.
No matter what people are dealing with, they can talk to us – we are here to support them.
Or alternatively they can read our advice on how to reduce the cost of living for people with arthritis.