We’re urging the Government to make arthritis a priority in national health plans. Will you join us?

24 June 2024
Pippa, who lives with arthritis, looking solemn sitting in her bedroom

We know that arthritis still isn’t taken seriously.

It’s often wrongly dismissed as ‘just a bit of wear and tear’, it’s tough to find useful data on arthritis, and it can be hard for people to get the critical diagnosis they need.

Plus, even though one in six of us in the UK have arthritis, funding into MSK medical research still doesn’t match the scale of the problem.

People with arthritis can’t be ignored any longer. It’s time to demand change and we know we’re stronger together.

Right now, we need local parliamentary candidates to understand what it’s like living with arthritis and how they can stand up for our community.

Will you join us and write to your local candidates asking them to stand up for people with arthritis if they’re elected?

Email your candidates now


Pippa’s story

Phillipa wearing a vest and holding a walking stick in a field of wheatMany people living with arthritis tell us that they don’t feel like they're taken seriously.

Take Pippa, 36, who lives with a type of arthritis that affects your kneecap (known as patellofemoral arthritis).

“I started having issues with my knee when I was sixteen, and I had my first knee operation at eighteen,” she says.

“I’ve been told everything from ‘it’s wear and tear’ to ‘it’s inflammation and damage’ to ‘of course it’s arthritis!’. There’s no consistent language or support, and not having a proper diagnosis after all these years is a really poor reflection on medical professionals.

“They just tell me to go to physio and then say crack on. This is my seventh time self-referring to physio.

“I’ve got something that’s long term and it’s only going to get worse, but no-one checks in with me if I don’t contact them. It just doesn't feel like you're a priority, and that's really hard.”

Pippa, 36, who lives with osteoarthritis

What must the next UK Government do to make arthritis a priority? 

The truth is arthritis has often been dismissed and ignored. Together, we can change that.

We’re calling on the next UK Government to:

  • Prioritise arthritis nationally through permanent NHS leadership and in health plans.
  • Secure musculoskeletal (MSK) clinical leadership in every local health system and ensure people with arthritis are involved in the development of local plans.
  • Improve the quality, availability, and use of UK-wide data on arthritis and MSK health.
Email your candidates now


“We need arthritis and the impact it has on people’s lives to be recognised,” says Deborah Alsina, Chief Executive of Versus Arthritis.

“We need permanent national and local leadership for musculoskeletal health, and arthritis must be included in health plans. More must be done to ensure sustained improvement in the care, treatment, and support for people of all ages, living with arthritis.”

“For too long, arthritis has not been taken seriously. This can’t go on. People with arthritis cannot continue to live without the right support and care they need to live healthy and happy lives.”

Deborah Alsina, Chief Executive of Versus arthritis.

Images of people living with arthritis and text that reads '10 million reasons to take arthritis seriously'

Our manifesto for people with arthritis

With Polling Day just around the corner, we’re calling on the next UK Government to make arthritis a priority.

But we’re not stopping there. As part of our manifesto, we’re also urging the next UK Government to:

  • Bring down waiting times for people with arthritis and support them while waiting.
  • Increase funding into musculoskeletal research to match its severe impact
  • Improve work-related support for people with arthritis.
  • Strengthen care and support for children and young people with arthritis.
Read our manifesto in full

We’re here for you

We know that living with arthritis can leave some people feeling worried, isolated and unsure where to turn.

However you’re feeling, remember you’re not alone. We’re here for you.

If you need more advice or support, you can always: