Thank you for contacting me about rheumatoid arthritis.
I recognise that living with a long-term condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis, has a significant impact upon a person’s wellbeing and I would like to thank the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society and Versus Arthritis for raising awareness of this issue.
As I understand, the guidance ‘Rheumatoid arthritis in adults: management’, has recently been updated by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). This sets out best practice in the diagnosis, treatment, care and support of people with rheumatoid arthritis. It also recommends that patients should be offered psychological interventions.
For instance, relaxation, stress management and cognitive coping skills are suggested to help patients to adjust to living with their condition. I would urge anyone suffering with a long-term condition who is suffering with their mental wellbeing to speak to their general practitioner in the first instance. The guidance can be accessed on the NICE website at the below address:
Between 2014/15 and 2018/19, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded 42 research programmes and individual awards, including doctoral research fellowships and clinical lectureships, on rheumatoid arthritis, with a total value of £18.5m. In addition, in March 2019 the UK Musculoskeletal Translational Research Collaboration launched, a partnership between NIHR and the charity Versus Arthritis. This brings together a range of specialists and research facilities to drive cutting edge research and improve outcomes for patients: rheumatoid arthritis is at the forefront of this work.