People with arthritis can’t ignore their pain. Let's make sure government doesn't either.
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:
- Arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions to be addressed in planning for the restart of treatment and services
- Commitment to the ongoing involvement of people with arthritis to shape the future of treatment and services
- National plans to bring down joint replacement waiting lists safely
- 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:
- Share your support for our campaign on Social Media
- Share our Petition to the Health Minister calling for a national plan to bring down joint replacement waiting lists safely.
- 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