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New advice on osteoarthritis

Pain Con­cern responds to new NICE Qual­i­ty Stan­dard state­ments issued 11 June 2015

Heather Wal­lace, Chair of Pain Con­cern said:

“What these eight new QS state­ments under­line is that for over 7 mil­lion peo­ple in the UK with  osteoarthri­tis the bur­den of pain is still not being addressed and cru­cial rec­om­men­da­tions that could help peo­ple bet­ter man­age their con­di­tion are sim­ply not being put into prac­tice. For many peo­ple with osteoarthri­tis the impact on their lives is enor­mous and may pre­vent them from work­ing, being able to par­tic­i­pate in sport or out­door activ­i­ties, or per­form sim­ple every­day tasks.

“There is no known cure for osteoarthri­tis and many of the stan­dard med­ica­tions avail­able are inef­fec­tive, so it is vital for peo­ple to be able take con­trol of their con­di­tion with a quick­er diag­no­sis, an all-round assess­ment of how pain impacts on every aspect of their life and an agreed self-man­age­ment plan which is reg­u­lar­ly reviewed. GPs need to assess what a per­son diag­nosed with osteoarthri­tis actu­al­ly knows and under­stands about the con­di­tion and what their hopes and expec­ta­tions for the future are.

“We know from the peo­ple who call our help line and from our own research into chron­ic pain that a num­ber of sig­nif­i­cant bar­ri­ers to effec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion between GPs and patients exist. Togeth­er with a lack of on-going sup­port this is pre­vent­ing access to effec­tive treat­ment and ther­a­pies. GPs are still the gate­keep­ers for peo­ple with osteoarthri­tis and should be sign­post­ing them towards effec­tive pain relief ser­vices such as phys­io­ther­a­py and weight man­age­ment which these stan­dards show is not hap­pen­ing. In the absence of a cure or effec­tive pain relief ther­a­pies, peo­ple with osteoarthri­tis need to be empow­ered with agreed effec­tive plans to help them under­stand their con­di­tion and afford them some relief from their pain.”

For more infor­ma­tion about the new QS stan­dard click here.

To view the eight new stan­dards, click here.