Thank you for contacting me about arthritis. This can be a very painful and debilitating condition and living with a long-term condition, such as arthritis, has a significant impact upon a person’s wellbeing.
There is no cure for arthritis, but there are many treatments that can help slow it down, including lifestyle changes, medicines and surgery. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is presently working on updated guidance for treatment of Osteoarthritis, which is due for publication following extensive consultation in 2022.
The NHS is being provided with an additional £33.9 billion by 2023/24; this is the largest, longest funding settlement in the history of the NHS and demonstrates the Government’s commitment to properly funding the NHS and public services.
Alongside this, the NHS was asked to undertake a clinical review of standards relating to waiting times. This must be clinically led to enable best, and safest, delivery of care for patients. NHS England has now prepared proposals, covering waiting times across the service, including elective procedures, mental health, cancer, and A&E.
Recommendations following this review have been deferred as part of the NHS response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which is understandable, but I shall look at these when available. While it has been important to postpone some NHS activities to protect individuals and enable resources to be used as efficiently as possible, the Department of Health and Social Care, as well as NHS Staff, are determined to restart elective procedures as soon as it is safe to do so. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care announced on 27th April that, from the following day, NHS services began restarting, including the most urgent, like cancer care and mental health support. The exact pace of this restoration is determined by local circumstances, according to local need and demand, and according to the number of coronavirus cases being dealt with by the hospital. Please do contact me if I can help highlight your case if you are waiting for joint replacement surgery and other treatment to support arthritis.
Thank you for taking the time to contact me.