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Announcement from ARMA

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 ARMA welcomes NICE announcement to develop quality standards for musculoskeletal conditions

15.08.11 - The Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA) and its 36 member organisations welcome today’s announcement by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) to include rheumatoid arthritis, low back pain, seronegative arthropathies, elective joint replacement (hip, knee and shoulder) and osteoarthritis, in its proposed list of NHS healthcare topics for quality standard development.

ARMA Director Ros Meek said: “ARMA and its members welcome the announcement by NICE to develop quality standards for key musculoskeletal conditions including rheumatoid arthritis and low back pain. ARMA has been calling for the development of such standards since May 2010 and looks forward to working with NICE to ensure that these conditions are included in the final list of agreed quality standard topics. 9.6 million adults and 12,000 children in England suffer from a musculoskeletal condition and NICE’s decision to recognise these conditions in the list of proposed quality standards is a positive development which should help raise the quality of care delivered to patients.”

“ARMA continues to call on the Department of Health to develop a national outcomes strategic approach to musculoskeletal conditions to ensure that musculoskeletal conditions are fully prioritised in the new NHS and that the government’s reforms help deliver improved outcomes for patients.”


Ros Meek, Director, ARMA, +44 (0) 20 7842 0910/11,

Notes to Editors

About musculoskeletal conditions

• Musculoskeletal conditions encompass around 200 different problems affecting the muscles, joints and skeleton
• Nearly 10 million adults, and over 10,000 children, have a musculoskeletal condition in England today
• Musculoskeletal conditions are a major area of NHS expenditure, comprising a separate ‘programme budget’ which – in 2009-10 – consumed £4.76 billion
• This represents a greater spend than on neurological conditions, blood disorders, and infectious diseases, and is an equivalent level of expenditure to that on respiratory conditions
• Expenditure on musculoskeletal conditions has increased rapidly in recent years, and is now the fourth-highest area of NHS spending

About ARMA

ARMA is the umbrella body providing a collective voice for the arthritis and musculoskeletal community in the UK. Together, ARMA and its member organisations work to improve quality of life for more than 9.6 million people in the UK with these conditions.
ARMA has 36 member organisations representing a broad range of interests across service user, professional and research groups working in the field of musculoskeletal conditions.
ARMA has a unique approach, bringing its members together to work collaboratively towards common goals and instigate joint initiatives. ARMA does this through a variety of projects and activities.

As an umbrella body, ARMA works with its membership, to achieve consensus in its campaign and policy work. ARMA has a strong track record of user involvement in all its activities and structures.

ARMA has been calling for the development of such standards since May 2010 when it published Developing quality in musculoskeletal services.


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