John Spellar MP has pledged to work alongside the leading charity Arthritis Research UK to represent the thousands of people in Sandwell living every day with the pain of arthritis.
Arthritis is the single biggest cause of disability and pain across the country with 10 million people living with arthritis, and other musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain. The pain, fatigue and lack of mobility caused by arthritis affects every aspect of a person’s life, making everyday tasks such as making a cup of tea, travelling to work or getting out of bed extremely difficult.
As well as the personal impact, these conditions amount to the third largest area of NHS spending, with an annual budget of £4.8 billion, and are the cause of one in five working days lost in the UK.
John Spellar, pictured at Arthritis Research UK’s annual Parliamentary reception, has pledged to support Arthritis Research UK’s Prevent, Transform, Cure manifesto in Parliament as an Arthritis Champion, which calls for:
Making arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions a public health priority
Ensuring people have timely access to health and care services that enable them to improve their musculoskeletal health
Ensure people with arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions have fair and timely access to services that support them to be in work, including financial support
Protect the UK’s position as a global leader in science and sustain the benefits of the life-science sector to the economy
Speaking about becoming an Arthritis Champion, John Spellar said:
“I’m proud to champion Arthritis Research UK’s policy calls to tackle the prevention, transformation and cure of arthritis. We need to put the issues affecting people with arthritis at the forefront of Parliament’s agenda.
“I’m committed to making a difference. Together we can fight this painful condition that has such a huge impact on all aspects of people’s lives in Sandwell.”
Dr Liam O’Toole, chief executive officer of Arthritis Research UK, said:
“I’m delighted that John Spellar has become an Arthritis Champion. It’s imperative that we have the support of as many MPs and Peers as possible to stand up for the rights of people with arthritis.
“There needs to be a public health approach focusing on preventing arthritis, transforming services and finding a cure for the 10 million people affected by this devastating condition. It’s vital we work together to make life better for everyone affected by arthritis.”