UK-based charity Versus Arthritis are campaigning to ensure that the needs of people with arthritis are prioritised by policymakers as plans for the COVID-19 recovery are developed. As part of this work, in this report they set out a six-part support package to help to meet the needs of people with arthritis who are on surgery waiting lists.
This guide from Versus Arthritis was written in consultation with people with musculoskeletal conditions waiting for joint replacement surgery. It makes the case Integrated Care Systems, Primary Care Networks, secondary care providers, public health bodies and social care providers should all work together with local communities and the voluntary sector to deliver a support package to help to meet the needs of people with arthritis who are on surgery waiting lists. The six key elements of this are as follows:
- Clear communication must be provided to people with arthritis about when they can expect to have their surgery and receive the care and services they need in the meantime.
- Personalised self-management support must be provided to help people with arthritis manage their pain while they wait for surgery.
- Physical activity programmes designed to help people with arthritis stay active and prepare for surgery should be actively promoted by Primary Care Networks.
- Mental health support should be offered to help every person with arthritis to manage their pain and any associated depression and anxiety.
- Signposting to financial support and advice should be provided for people with arthritis in work or seeking work.
- Covid-19 recovery plans should include the specific needs of people with arthritis.