Arthritis: Mental Health

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 7th January 2019.

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Photo of Paul Blomfield Paul Blomfield Shadow Minister (Exiting the European Union)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the recommendations made by National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society in their report entitled Emotional Health and Well-being Matters.

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The recommendations made in the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society’s report, Emotional Health and Well-being Matters, are aimed at a number of different bodies and Government to improve the monitoring and measuring of mental health in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis and to improve access to services.

The Government recognises that long-term conditions, such as arthritis, can have an impact on a person’s mental wellbeing. The guideline Rheumatoid arthritis in adults: management, updated by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in 2018, sets out best practice in the diagnosis, treatment, care and support of people with rheumatoid arthritis. The guidance recommends that patients should be offered psychological interventions, for example, relaxation, stress management and cognitive coping skills to help them to adjust to living with their condition.

We expect National Health Service organisations and clinicians to take NICE guidelines into account fully as best practice, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients. The guidance is available at the following link:

As set out in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, the expansion of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies services now under way has a focus on helping people with long-term conditions, including conditions such as arthritis.

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