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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.

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