Jeff Smith has pledged to work alongside the leading charity Arthritis Research UK to represent the thousands of people in south Manchester living every day with the pain of arthritis.
Arthritis is the single biggest cause of disability and pain across the country with 10 million people living with arthritis, and other musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain. The pain, fatigue and lack of mobility caused by arthritis affects every aspect of a person’s life, making everyday tasks such as making a cup of tea, travelling to work or getting out of bed extremely difficult.
As well as the personal impact, these conditions amount to the third largest area of NHS spending, with an annual budget of £4.8 billion, and are the cause of one in five working days lost in the UK.
Jeff Smith has pledged to support Arthritis Research UK’s Prevent, Transform, Cure manifesto in Parliament as an Arthritis Champion, which calls for:
- Making arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions a public health priority
- Ensuring people have timely access to health and care services that enable them to improve their musculoskeletal health
- Ensuring people with arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions have fair and timely access to services that support them to be in work, including financial support
- Protecting the UK’s position as a global leader in science and sustain the benefits of the life-science sector to the economy
Speaking about becoming an Arthritis Champion, Jeff Smith said:
“I am proud to be a champion of Arthritis Research UK’s call for policies that will improve prevention of arthritis and cures for arthritis suffers.
This is a painful condition that has such a huge impact on all aspects of people’s lives in south Manchester.
We need to put these issues at the forefront of Parliament’s agenda.”
Dr Liam O’Toole, chief executive officer of Arthritis Research UK, said:
“I’m delighted that Jeff Smith has become an Arthritis Champion. It’s imperative that we have the support of as many MPs and Peers as possible to stand up for the rights of people with arthritis.
“There needs to be a public health approach focusing on preventing arthritis, transforming services and finding a cure for the 10 million people affected by this devastating condition. It’s vital we work together to make life better for everyone affected by arthritis.”