Rheumatoid arthritis is a lifelong, progressive, musculoskeletal disease that causes severe pain, swelling and inflammation of the joints, and can lead to reduced joint function and disability. An estimated 580, 000 people in England have the disease, with 26, 000 new cases diagnosed each year. Annual healthcare costs to the NHS are Ap560 million, with costs to the economy of Ap1.8 billion in sick leave and work-related disability. Early diagnosis is crucial: starting treatment within three months can stop the disease getting worse and yet the time between experiencing symptoms and receiving treatment is typically nine months, unchanged since 2003. People's low awareness of the disease, causing them to delay seeking medical help, and GPs failing to spot the early symptoms and refer quickly enough for diagnosis by a specialist, cause the delay. Once diagnosed there may be a postcode lottery of care and wide variation in spending on rheumatoid arthritis across Primary Care Trusts. Access to the range of services needed to manage rheumatoid arthritis also varies. Three quarters of people with rheumatoid arthritis are diagnosed when of working age, and one third of people stop working within two years of being diagnosed. People with the disease often lack the right support mechanisms to help them maintain their independence and make an economic contribution to society. Dame Carol Black's review qWorking for a healthier tomorrowq (2008, ISBN 9780117025134) recommended help for people with musculoskeletal conditions to remain in work, but this has yet to filter through to action on the ground.We were concerned by the NAOa#39;s findings that there continues to be a lack of integration between primary and secondary care, and ... 2. While Abbotta#39;s expertise lies in the health sector, we have been particularly active over the past few years in ... Mr Nicholson: We would be happy to investigate because it raises a whole series of issues. ... In answer to your previous point ... We are putting a lot of store on these fitfor-work pilots, because that is a more comprehensive look at it, not justanbsp;...
|Title||:||Services for People with Rheumatoid Arthritis|
|Author||:||Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts|
|Publisher||:||The Stationery Office - 2010-02-23|