To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 3 November 2020 to Question 103607 on Arthritis: Medical Treatments, whether his Department plans to make an assessment of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the treatment of arthritis.
While no specific assessment was made, NHS England and NHS Improvement rapidly convened a COVID-19 musculoskeletal (MSK) stakeholder group at the beginning of the pandemic, led by the MSK National Clinical Director, and involving a range of professional, charity and patient groups including the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA) and Versus Arthritis. This led to the development of a self-management resource for patients, including those with arthritis, in managing their condition at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
NHS England and NHS Improvement continue to collaborate with ARMA and Versus Arthritis, as well as other key stakeholders, to provide guidance, support and communication to the National Health Service for people with arthritis, both in the current context of the pandemic and in the restoration of services. This collaboration recently led to a rapid assessment of the challenges experienced by patients with arthritis during the pandemic.