Petition hand-in for joint replacement surgery

21 July 2021

Today we handed in our Impossible to Ignore petition to all UK governments. We went to the Department of Health and Social Care in Westminster, and delivered it virtually to governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Along with our campaigners Rob Martinez and Loraine Hili who are waiting for joint replacement surgery, we went to the Department of Health and Social Care to hand in over 46,000 signatures calling for urgent action.

“I want the government to understand the impact that waiting for surgery has on our lives”

Rob Martinez

Rob, who delivered the petition with us today, is currently waiting for his second knee replacement operation. His message for UK Governments was clear:

“I have been left in pain that has affected every aspect of my day-to-day life. The delay and the lack of communication has caused me a great deal of stress and anxiety. Everyone thinks I’m such a happy person, but the impact this has had on my mental health has been catastrophic.

“I want the government to understand the impact that waiting for surgery has on our lives, and to act now to reduce NHS waiting times and provide support for people like me. We deserve to have a better quality of life, free of this pain."

Hundreds of thousands of people with arthritis across the UK are waiting for joint replacements, often with no word on when operations will happen. Whilst there are initiatives starting to be put in place to address the planned surgery backlog due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is much more to be done. With hospitals facing pressures due to the rise in COVID cases, elective surgery is still at risk.

Read more about ways to manage your pain while waiting for surgery.

It’s vital that governments take action now

Governments need to set out plans to bring down joint replacement waiting times, so health services can continue to deliver these life-transforming operations and ensure that those waiting for surgery receive ongoing communication and support.

In response to the petition hand-in, the Tracy Loftis, Head of Public Affairs and Policy at Versus Arthritis, said:

“It's crucial that UK governments take steps to address the joint replacement backlog. This is why Versus Arthritis are calling for urgent action to make sure that the voices of people with arthritis waiting for surgery are heard and that they get the support that they need.”

Get involved

To find out more about our Impossible to Ignore campaign, watch our video below and share with your MP.

We are impossible to ignore

To view the Welsh language subtitled version of the video above, please click here.

Across the nations

Wherever you live in the UK, please help us by sending a message to your elected representative today and ask them to back our call. We know that politicians listen and respond to their local constituents, so this is the best way to get them to take action quickly on this urgent issue.

We’re here whenever you need us