Impossible to Ignore campaign

People with arthritis can’t ignore their pain. Let's make sure government doesn't either.

Lockdown has made living with arthritis harder. The pain of waiting for joint replacement surgery is impossible to ignore. We need a national plan to restart treatment & bring down waiting lists safely.

People with arthritis in Northern Ireland have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are in danger of being left behind.

  • Over 387,000 people in Northern Ireland have arthritis or a musculoskeletal condition.
  • Musculoskeletal conditions are the leading cause of years lost to disability in Northern Ireland.
  • 78% of people with arthritis experience pain most days: 80% say managing pain and its symptoms would significantly improve their quality of life.

 Versus Arthritis’ Impossible to Ignore campaign is calling for:

  1. Arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions to be addressed in planning for the restart of treatment and services
  2. Commitment to the ongoing involvement of people with arthritis to shape the future of treatment and services
  3. National plans to bring down joint replacement waiting lists safely
  4. Local planning to ensure that people with arthritis have access to ongoing communication, advice and support to manage their pain

Impossible to ignore: The impact of COVID-19 on people with arthritis

Versus Arthritis launched a UK-wide survey to understand the impact of COVID-19 on people with arthritis between April and June 2020. Among the Northern Ireland respondents, almost 34% said they did not have access to the care and treatment they needed to manage their pain and 93% said the Government needed to do more to raise awareness of the pain of arthritis.

For many people with arthritis, the pandemic has had a significant impact their health, care, and quality of life, with

47% reporting that their appointments for arthritis had been cancelled, rising to over 52% for those self-isolating and 47% reporting feeling lonelier and more isolated

The significant impact of COVID-19 on people with arthritis’ physical and mental wellbeing is clear, highlighting a need for improved support, information, and advice.

Impossible to ignore: addressing the needs of people with arthritis

On Thursday 16th July Versus Arthritis launched a UK-wide campaign to make sure that people with arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions are a priority at the national and local level following the restoration of health and public services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We need your support to help us ensure the voices of people with arthritis are heard by decision-makers:

  1. Share your support for our campaign on Social Media 
  2. Share our Petition to the Health Minister calling for a national plan to bring down joint replacement waiting lists safely.
  3. Encourage your supporters to write to their MLA asking them to find out if arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions are being prioritised locally in their constituency

Impossible to ignore: support our campaign and find out more by contacting John McCormick, Northern Ireland Policy and Engagement Manager or sign the petition.

Last updated 8 months 3 weeks ago