Rob’s evidence in Parliament ensures your voice is heard27 June 2020
You’ve been telling us how the cancellation of joint replacement surgery has impacted your lives.
We’ve been sharing your insight with the NHS and health organisations across the UK to ensure that the voices of people with arthritis are front and centre as they develop guidance about how hospitals can restart surgery safely.
We’re proud that to let you know that last week Rob, one of our campaigners, gave evidence to a group of MPs in Parliament known as the ‘Health and Social Care Select Committee’. He spoke about the impact that waiting for a knee replacement has had on his life.
Rob Martinez tells MPs about the impact of delays to urgent treatment
“I have had to give up my job, I have pain walking and sleeping, and no medication has helped whatsoever. My life feels on hold and it’s extremely frustrating.”
You might recognise Rob from our recent Right on Time campaign. He’s been waiting for a joint replacement since October and shared his story as part of our work to fix joint replacement waiting times.
We were so excited when he finally got a date for his operation in April. But, when COVID-19 hit, his operation was cancelled. As he said during his evidence.
“I haven't heard from my local hospital since my operation was cancelled. I've now been told there is zero chance of my operation occurring this year.”
This was very disappointing to hear. Many people with arthritis have found themselves in a similar position. With elective surgeries cancelled due to the pandemic, waiting lists that were already too long are now even longer.
People with arthritis have been left to wait - in pain, without support, and not knowing when they will be able to access this life changing surgery.
We’re committed to making sure the voices of people living with arthritis are heard
Our written response to the Health and Social Care Committee (PDF, 230KB) was informed by everything that you have told us about your experiences during the pandemic, and focused on how delays to hip and knee replacement surgery are impacting on people with arthritis and issues that need to be considered as surgery is re-started.
Rob’s evidence was another huge step in making sure that the voices of people with arthritis are heard as part of the NHS’ recovery process.
Not only did MPs hear what he had to say, but his story was picked up by the media, including the BBC, ITV, and 170 local news outlets across the country.
We’re determined to continue ensuring that your voices are not forgotten, but we need to be as loud as we possibly can.
Please add your voice by joining the Campaigns Network, and share with your friends and family.
We’re here whenever you need us.
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Together, we’re shaping the future of support and treatments
We’re actively working with the NHS and health organisations across the UK to ensure that people with arthritis get the advice they need to manage their pain now, and that treatment and services can restart safely in the future.
“I wasn’t open enough about how difficult my life was, so the pain stayed hidden for a long time.”
Keir is 35 and lives with his wife and kids in Eastbourne. He’s recovering from a total knee replacement after living with severe osteoarthritis throughout his twenties.