Putting arthritis on the agenda
The next five years will be among the most challenging since the new Northern Ireland Assembly was elected in 1998. The Assembly will inherit unprecedented pressures – particularly in dealing with post pandemic recovery and tackling health service backlogs.
Throughout the pandemic we’ve been campaigning hard with, and on behalf of, people with arthritis. Our Impossible to Ignore campaign brought the charity to the attention of government, with our call to bring down joint replacement surgery waiting times. As a result we were able to meet the Health Minister who welcomed our proposals to develop a support package for people waiting for surgery and other treatments. This has helped us make new connections across government, creating opportunities for strategic input into policies that will make life better for people with arthritis.
Our campaigning will continue to bring the needs of people with arthritis to the heart of government and we want to involve everyone we can to make this happen.
Here you will find information for anyone interested in campaigning as well as information for decision makers such as healthcare professionals, councillors and Members of the Legislative Assembly. Please use it to help you help us make change happen for people with arthritis in your communities and across Northern Ireland.
Campaigners/People with arthritis/Health Professionals: Get involved!
If you want to help bring about the changes that are needed, there are many ways to do this.
- If you would like to tell us about an issue in your area that you think we should be campaigning on, please email NIPolicy@versusarthritis.org.
- Join our Campaigns Network to receive regular updates and easy to use ‘actions’ to contact decision-makers about our campaigns.
- Although our petition in support of our ‘Impossible to Ignore’ campaign to bring down orthopaedic waiting times is closed, you can still use the click throughs to contact your MLA.
- Join our growing band of local campaigners and influencers: contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Follow our Northern Ireland Versus Arthritis Facebook page and Northern Ireland Versus Arthritis Twitter feed (@NIVArthritis) to keep up to date with our campaigns.
- You can read our Northern Ireland Election Manifesto 2022: Seen. Heard. Equal. A Manifesto for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Conditions (COMING SOON).
With 525,000 people living with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions in Northern Ireland, we know that many of you will have experience, personally, in your family, or among friends and colleagues, of the impact arthritis can have on quality of life. The pandemic has added to already unacceptably long waiting times for treatments and life changing surgery in Northern Ireland.
People with arthritis have had enough.
We need your help to make sure the needs of people living with arthritis are heard loud and clear - in the Northern Ireland Assembly, in the re-mobilisation and reform of Health and Social Care services and in our communities.
Our Policy and Engagement Team in Northern Ireland is here to provide information and latest research on the key issues facing people with arthritis.
Please contact us at NIPolicy@versusarthritis.org to discuss policy issues, our campaigns or other matters impacting on people with arthritis in your area.
This includes our work with healthcare professionals through our Northern Ireland MSK Forum, our campaign to tackle the surgery backlog and our push for a package of support for people languishing on orthopaedic and rheumatology waiting lists.
You can also read our Northern Ireland Election Manifesto 2022: Seen. Heard. Equal. A Manifesto for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Conditions (COMING SOON).
Our support service can offer direct support to your constituents – for example our Living Well Service offers self-management and physical activity support for adults, while our Young People and Families Service meets the specific needs of young people. We also have an extensive network of peer support groups.
Please signpost relevant constituents to our helpline - 0800 5200 520. Our helpline team will provide individually tailored information including details of our local services. You can call the Northern Ireland office directly on 028 9078 2940 or email NIServicesTeam@versusarthritis.org to find out more about local support.