I appreciate that living with arthritis is always a struggle, often with constant pain, but that the coronavirus crisis has only made matters worse. Now, people with arthritis are suffering without knowing when they will be able to receive the help that they need.
This includes an indeterminate delay to treatment and support for their pain, and a lack of assurances that surgery can restart safely.
From April – June, Versus Arthritis ran a UK-wide survey to gain an understanding of the impact the pandemic is having on people with arthritis and related conditions, and of the over 6,000 people who responded:
– 42% reported that appointments for their arthritis had been cancelled, and this was higher for those who were self-isolating at 46%.
– 60% do not have access to the care and treatment they need to manage their pain.
There are roughly ten million people in the UK living with arthritis. I understand that these people will want to know when they can access their long-awaited assistance through services that have been suspended as a result of the coronavirus.
This is why I have written to the Chief Executive of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, Fiona Noden, and raised this issue with her. I have posted this letter below for you to see.
I hope that arthritis treatment will resume as soon as it is safe to do so.