News from the nations

Wales

Information days and current services in Wales

The team in Wales has started delivering information days to health care professionals, third sector organisations and people with arthritis. Five sessions have been delivered across the nation so far with some sessions attracting 50+ people.

The information days have included presentations from physiotherapists and occupational therapists, exercise sessions including yoga and tai chi, and discussions with volunteers sharing their experiences of living with arthritis and pain and self-management tools and techniques.

Feedback received has been very positive with many health care professionals making referrals to Versus Arthritis to enable people to access our services including self-management sessions, information sessions/events, support/activity groups, 1:1 support, tailored workshops for people with arthritis and health care professionals, signposting to local services and opportunities to volunteer within the community.

Current services:

Our Living Well and CWTCH (Communities Working Together Can Help) support services work alongside people with arthritis, community groups, health, and social care professionals to deliver a framework of support across four key themes:

  • pain management
  • self-management
  • physical activity
  • shared decision making

Our delivery model is aligned to the following principles:

  • Focus on people – ensuring people with arthritis have a voice and control over their care and support.
  • Wellbeing – supporting people to improve and maintain their well-being.
  • Prevention and early intervention – increasing options for preventative and early intervention services.
  • Partnership – facilitating effective cooperation and partnership working between researchers, agencies, and organisations to best meet the needs of people with arthritis.
  • Accessibility – improving the information and advice available to people and ensuring that people with arthritis can access that information.

Our services aim to:

  • Address loneliness and isolation – by providing opportunities to connect and socialise in communities.
  • Promote and facilitate independence – by building individuals’ capacity to access trusted and validated information, advice, and assistance.
  • Build resilience, in individuals and communities – by supporting people to manage their condition and their lives.

More sessions are planned in the next few months. If you are interested in attending an information day or would like to learn more about the services currently being offered in Wales please contact walessupport@versusarthritis.org, or the Wales office on 08007563970.

New bilingual leaflet for healthcare professionals in Wales

We are pleased to announce that we have recently produced a bilingual leaflet for healthcare professionals, health boards and other stakeholders in health and social care in Wales. The leaflet summarises the wide range of services Cymru Versus Arthritis offers in Wales to help support people living with arthritis.

The leaflet includes details of our Living Well and CWTCH services, our Young People and Families service as well as information about our education and training packages. You can also find out more about the musculoskeletal decision support tools we have recently produced. This suite of support tools reflects recommendations made in the NICE guidance on osteoarthritis, low back pain and sciatica in the over 16s. If you are looking for resources on Physical Activity, the leaflet lists our resources as well as our programmes such as ‘Let’s Move with Leon’.

Finally, using your professional experience, you can help provide insight for our policy and campaigning work at Versus Arthritis- the leaflet gives information on how to get involved.

Find out more about our bilingual leaflet (PDF, 1 MB).

Access our free education packages

If you are a healthcare professional in Wales, you can access our FREE flagship education packages. These RCGP accredited courses can increase your knowledge and confidence in dealing with MSK patients. The following courses are available:

  • MSK Bitesize (extended) – This course covers osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia, polymyalgia rheumatica, myeloma, gout, hypermobility, myofascial pain, paediatric MSK, Lupus, physical activity (3 hours). This trainer led 3-hour course takes you on a rapid run through of 10 MSK topics that present frequently in primary care.
  • NICE draft guidelines on chronic pain (2 hours) – Managing chronic pain can be one of the most difficult aspects of primary care for both doctors and patients. This trainer led short course looks at the new NICE chronic primary pain guidelines and ways to put these into practice.
  • Is it Fibromyalgia or Inflammatory joint disease? (2 hours) – This trainer led short course is designed to help you differentiate between inflammatory arthritis and fibromyalgia.

We also deliver a face-to-face workshop, “Core Skills in MSK Care”. This Core Skills workshop focuses on developing the practical skills required in a typical 10-minute GP consultation.

If you are interested in any of these courses, then please contact: d.welsh@versusarthritis.org.

England

New arthritis walking groups in Leeds and Norfolk

If you’re local to Leeds or Norfolk, please do let your patients know about the friendly arthritis walking groups starting in these areas. More information on Leeds can be found at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/167462273167 and Norfolk here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dereham-free-walking-group-for-people-with-arthritis-tickets-170147336263

Versus Arthritis walking groups are specifically for people with all types of arthritis so are at a gentle pace, including rest stops as needed. Our new volunteer walk leaders all have an MSK condition themselves, are ramblers accredited and supervised by Versus Arthritis staff members.

We hope that these new walking groups will provide a supportive environment for people to improve mobility and fitness. The walking groups will also help reduce social isolation as people will chat as they walk and at the all-important tea break!

Specific projects in Cambridgeshire, Birmingham and East Riding of Yorkshire

If you’re local to Cambridgeshire, Birmingham or East Riding, we’d also love to talk to you about how we could work together to support local people with arthritis. We have some specific projects going on over the next year or two.

In Cambridgeshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire, Versus Arthritis has received small grants to develop local services so we’d love to co-produce these with you! Please contact Lauren on l.williams@versusarthritis.org.

In Birmingham, we have launched the new Together Versus Arthritis programme – a pilot which aims to work with local stakeholders to:

  • provide information and insight on the needs of local people with arthritis and support available
  • help develop local services (working with local partners)
  • directly support people with arthritis.

For Birmingham, please contact Saber on s.ghafoor@versusarthritis.org.