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Arthritis charity warns government of ‘Backlog Britain’ due to missed appointments

29th July 2020
Posted by Johnny Jenkins

A leading charity has warned the Government today that people with arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions are being left to wait in pain, with many in need of life-changing operations braced for years of agony.

Over 6,000 responded to a survey by Versus Arthritis which uncovered that two in every five (40%) people with arthritis faced cancelled appointments during the pandemic, rising to almost half (44%) for those in chronic pain. 

When asked about their health, care and quality of life during lockdown: 

  • 2 in 5 (40%) have been unable to manage their pain due to limited access to care and treatment 
  • Half report being unable to manage their pain enough to undertake basic tasks 
  • A third (33%) were advised to self-isolate with the data showing those shielding bore the brunt of cancellations (46% experiencing cancelled appointments) 
  • 1 in 2 (50%) said they are not able to be physically active due to their pain 

Versus Arthritis – which has already fielded a 200% increase in pain-related enquiries since lockdown began – is warning that those unable to access appropriate care are at risk of significant decline in health and that the NHS will pay a higher price in the long term. 

Johnny dicussed this issue with James O’Malley of Versus Arthritis: