Consultation responses

Our consultation response about the public health reforms in England 2021

Following the decision to close Public Health England and establish as UK Health Security Agency, the Government have asked for views about what the future of public health should look like.

Musculoskeletal conditions are one of the largest causes of preventable pain and disability in the UK. Versus Arthritis understands the importance of good prevention and self-management support for musculoskeletal conditions to improving the population’s overall health. We’re pushing for the new public health system to take a proactive approach to encouraging good musculoskeletal health at every stage of life, and for people with musculoskeletal health to be properly supported in maintaining their wellbeing.

Read the full consultation response to 'Transforming the public health system' here (PDF, 239 KB).

Our response to the Lords Select Committee’s National Plan for Sport and Recreation Inquiry 2021

The House of Lords Select Committee asked for views on the creation of a National Plan for Sport and Recreation, which would aim to make it easier for everyone to exercise and maintain an active lifestyle.

We know how important physical activity is for many people with arthritis in helping manage their condition, and we want to make sure that a National Plan for Sport and Recreation addresses the barriers to exercise our community currently faces. We also have worked with people with arthritis to design and deliver physical activity programmes, which should be integrated into the Government’s strategy for increasing physical activity in people with health conditions.

Read our response to the House of Lords Select Committee on a National Plan for Sport and Recreation inquiry (PDF, 288 KB).

Our representation to the Budget 2021

Following the Spending Review in November 2020, the Government has announced it will publish a new Budget for the UK for the year ahead on Wednesday 3 March 2021. The Budget is expected to ‘set out the next phase of the plan to tackle the coronavirus and protect jobs’. It will be published alongside the latest forecasts on national finances from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

Stakeholders are invited to send representations to the Treasury ahead of the budget. Our representation focuses on areas of spending which we believe matter to people with arthritis. These are spread across health and care services, including public health spending, along with employment and cutting-edge research.

Read the Versus Arthritis Representation to the Budget 2020 (PDF, 368 KB).

Our representation to the Comprehensive Spending Review 2020

The UK’s budgeting framework includes a comprehensive spending review every few years which allows the government to allocate funding to Departments and consider its priorities across all spending over multiple years. Versus Arthritis welcomes the opportunity to provide input into the 2020 Comprehensive Spending Review. Our representation focuses on health and care services, employment and cutting-edge research.

Read our full contribution in Versus Arthritis Representation to the Comprehensive Spending Review 2020 (PDF, 637 KB).

Our response to the House of Commons Science and Technology inquiry “The role of technology, research and innovation in the COVID-19 recovery”

In September 2020, we responded to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee inquiry “The role of technology, research and innovation in the COVID-19 recovery”. Our submission was developed using intelligence gathered from our funded researchers as well as discussions with the Association of Medical Research Charities and other medical research charity and industry representatives.

Read our response in Versus Arthritis response to Sci & Tech Committee inquiry into COVID19 recovery (PDF, 480 KB).

Drawing on evidence and case studies from our research community, we shared our concerns about the threat of COVID-19 to charity-funded research. We also highlighted examples where knowledge arising from MSK research expertise over many years has now been applied to address emerging questions about COVID-19. We joined with others in the sector to call on Government to support researchers and charity-funded research during post-COVID recovery.

Our response to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategies consultation about the Government’s Research and Development Roadmap

In August 2020, we responded to the consultation run by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategies about the Government’s Research and Development (R&D) Roadmap which sets out the UK’s vision and ambition for science, research and innovation. We developed our submission in close consultation with the Association of Medical Research Charities, and with input from MSK researchers Professor Iain McInnes and Kay Stevenson.

You can read our response to the consultation run by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategies about the Government’s Research and Development here (PDF, 260 KB).

Our submission focused on the distinctive and essential part charity-funded research plays in the Government’s vision for the UK to be a global science superpower. We shared our concerns about the threat of COVID-19 to charity-funded research and called for Government investment to focus on patient needs, prioritising investments that deliver improvements in quality of life and addresses common health conditions including arthritis and related conditions. We emphasised the support medical research charities can provide to Government as they seek to address important issues relating to research culture, diversity and inclusion, and levelling up of regional inequalities. We called on Government to ensure that the views of patients and the public are sought out and included in any R&D decision-making processes that will affect them.

Our response to the Department of Health and Social Care Committee Inquiry ‘Delivering Core NHS and Care Services During the Pandemic and Beyond’

In May 2020, we responded to the inquiry ran by Parliament’s Health and Social Care Committee about “Delivering health and care services during the pandemic and beyond.”

You can read our response to the Department of Health and Social Care Committee Inquiry ‘Delivering Core NHS and Care Services During the Pandemic and Beyond’ here (PDF, 230 KB).

Our submission focused largely on the impact of the postponement of joint replacement surgery in England on people with arthritis and issues that need to be considered when surgery is re-started.

We also highlighted the need to expand access to physical activity interventions and shared decision making that can help people with arthritis to self-manage during this period.

Versus Arthritis initial assessment of public health impacts of COVID-19 on people with arthritis

We’ve put together an initial assessment of the public health impacts of COVID-19 people with arthritis, across health and wellbeing, health and care services and the wider economy.

You can read Versus Arthritis initial assessment of public health impacts of COVID-19 on people with arthritis (PDF, 221 KB).

We’ve also summarised what we are hearing from our community. We warmly welcome feedback and further input from colleagues across the sector.

Please get in touch at policy@versusarthritis.org to share your views and suggestions.

Joint response to HM Government consultation ‘Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s’

The Government's prevention green paper ‘Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s’ focuses on action across the services and conditions in which people live, work and grow to improve healthy life expectancy and reduce the unfair differences in health that exist today.

They've asked for views on proposals to help us all have five extra healthy, independent years of life by 2035 and to narrow the gap between the richest and poorest in our country.

We've contributed to this joint submission (PDF, 364KB) alongside other charities and health organisations to highlight the urgent need for increased, sustainable public health funding.

Our response to HM Government consultation ‘Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s’

The Government asked for views on proposals to help us all have five extra healthy, independent years of life by 2035 and to narrow the gap between the richest and poorest in our country.

Arthritis and related conditions are currently the leading cause of years lived with disability so there's a long way to go. We urgently need a public health approach to support people look after their musculoskeletal health now and in the future.

Read our response to the HM Government consultation 'Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s' (PDF, 312 KB).

Our response to HM Government consultation ‘Health is everyone’s business'

The Government asked for views on new proposals to reduce ill health-related job loss.

We know that arthritis and other conditions can make working life hard, but that many people with arthritis want to work, and can thrive in work with the right support.

You can read our response to the HM Government consultation 'Health is everyone's business' (PDF, 319 KB), which includes the views we received from people with arthritis and related conditions.