MPs learn more about aids and adaptations

Someone using a gadget to open a jar of food.

On 11th July we hosted a Parliamentary event to discuss our new reportRoom to Manoeuvre’.

The event was attended by the Minister of State at the Department of Health and Social Care Caroline Dinenage, Shadow Minister for Social Care and Mental Health Barbara Keeley, and Shadow Minister for Public Health Sharon Hodgson, alongside numerous MPs and stakeholders from across the country. Attendees had opportunities to discuss the importance of aids and adaptations for people with arthritis and found out how they can support people in their local area to access these items.

The report based on an in-depth study we conducted - highlighted that 95% of respondents felt that using aids and adaptations had a positive impact on their quality of life. However, for many with arthritis, information on how to access these useful items can be lacking, and our research also uncovered that many people pay for these items themselves when they could qualify to get them for free through their local authority.

At the event, MPs discussed the report findings with Versus Arthritis staff, spoke to campaigners with arthritis about their experiences, and tried out a variety of home aids at our interactive stand. Speeches were also given by our host Alex Cunningham MP, CEO Dr Liam O’Toole, and campaigner Catherine Manning.

Natasha, whose story features in our Room to Manoeuvre report attended the reception: “I was honoured to attend this event with Versus Arthritis as a volunteer campaigner. It was great to meet the other campaigners who understand what it's like living with rheumatoid arthritis, as well as being able to share my story about aids and adaptations. I didn’t know that such help even existed or the big difference it could make to my life. I'm glad that so many MPs attended, and I was able to speak to them about this matter. I look forward to being able to do more in the future and spread as much awareness as I can about the impact of arthritis.”

Shona Cleland, Public Affairs Manager at Versus Arthritis, said: “It was fantastic to see so many MPs at our event. Arthritis and related conditions are the number one cause of pain and disability in the UK. However, a lack of awareness of the support – such as aids and adaptations – available to help people live independently is a real issue. Arthritis can affect every aspect of someone’s life, from getting up in the morning and going to work, to looking after family and making a meal. It’s great that MPs wants to learn more about the help which can really make a difference to their constituents with arthritis.”

We would like to thank everyone who came to the event, and to all our campaigners who invited their MP to attend. If you are interested in helping us with our campaigning efforts, please sign up to our campaigner network to keep up to date with what we’re up to and how you can get involved.