Our Impossible to Ignore campaign: making sure your voice is heard

05 November 2020
Jennylyn stood outside.

Since the pandemic began, we’ve been working with decision makers at all levels of the government and the NHS to ensure that the voices of people with arthritis are heard. 

And now, as England enters into a second national lockdown, we want you to know that we will still be here – with information, support and we’ll continue pushing to make sure that the arthritis is Impossible to Ignore.

Get the support you need

We know that many people with arthritis and related conditions are clinically vulnerable and are concerned about how best to keep themselves safe. The government has released updated shielding guidance for people in England to help you look after yourself, and a letter will be going out to people who have been listed as clinically vulnerable shortly. This includes advice on how to access support during lockdown and how you can get help with shopping and medication.

We've updated our coronavirus information with this advice and here you’ll find details about our support services.

We encourage you to read through these resources for a breakdown of what you can do to help stay safe and look after your wellbeing.

Making sure that the experiences of people with arthritis are heard

We'll continue to work closely with the NHS and politicians to make sure that people with arthritis are not forgotten during this time.

We launched our Impossible to Ignore campaign in July to push for the changes and support that people with arthritis need, and have had great success at putting arthritis on the political agenda across the UK.

The stories of people with arthritis have been a vital tool to push for change. It’s more important than ever for us to make sure that people with arthritis are Impossible to Ignore.

We need to make sure that decision makers are aware of how people’s treatment continues to be affected by the pandemic, so we have launched a survey to paint a full picture of what waiting for surgery is like. This will be a vital part of our campaigning going forward over the next few months.

Has your surgery been impacted by the pandemic?

Hundreds of people have taken our survey, and these initial findings were a vital part of our evidence at the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on coronavirus.

This cross-party group of MPs was set up to ensure that lessons are learned from the UK’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak so that the UK’s response and preparedness may be improved in future.

We highlighted that:

  • People with arthritis have been disproportionately affected by coronavirus in their daily lives, including their mental and physical health, employment, access to services and support, and levels of isolation.
  • People with arthritis are more likely to be considered clinically vulnerable and their needs must be prioritised in a second wave.
  • The cancellation and delay of elective surgery has left many people with arthritis in pain and uncertainty regarding their future care.
  • The communication between the Government and NHS and people with arthritis has left many people confused about the latest advice, such as on shielding - there needs to be consistent and clear advice in the future.

This evidence will now constitute an important piece of the APPG’s report into how the coronavirus pandemic has been handled.

Helping to protecting vulnerable people in the future

Our Arthritis Champion, Vicky Foxcroft MP, is actively working to promote the concerns of people who are shielding and is considering using people’s stories to highlight the personal battles and concerns people are facing around shielding.

If you would be happy to share your story, email Vicky at: vicky.foxcroft.mp@parliament.uk

As we adapt to the restrictions across the UK, we will continue to push for better understanding of the issues facing people with arthritis.

Your stories and experiences are the most effective tool we have to make sure that arthritis is Impossible to Ignore.

Get involved

People with arthritis can’t ignore their pain. And we need to let the government and the NHS know that neither can they.

Please add your voice to our Impossible to Ignore petition and share the petition with friends and family on Facebook or Twitter.

We are here for you