Tag Archive | "Arthritis"

Versus Arthritis;
"Working it Out" Reception;
House of Commons, Westminster;
2nd July 2019.

© Pete Jones
pete@pjproductions.co.uk

Chesterfield-based Versus Arthritis event leads to MPs call for better support to keep people with arthritis in work

Toby Perkins MP joined people living with arthritis at a Parliamentary event in Westminster on Tuesday 2nd July. Toby heard firsthand about the impact the chronic pain associated with the condition can have on the ability to remain in employment and how to ensure every person with arthritis who wants to work has the support they need.

At the event, healthcare charity Versus Arthritis – based in Chesterfield – launched its new report, Working it Out: Demanding More From the Access to Work Scheme. Access to Work is a government scheme that can provide valuable workplace assistance, such as specialist equipment, transport and support staff.

However, the charity found that 59% of people they spoke to had never heard of the Access to Work scheme, with many more unaware of the type of help it can provide. This means that too many people with arthritis are going without the support they need and are unnecessarily struggling or dropping out of work.

Versus Arthritis also found that one in four applicants (with arthritis) surveyed said the scheme was difficult to communicate with, and three quarters did not know they were entitled to a review of their support.

Versus Arthritis is calling for ongoing promotion of the scheme to people with arthritis and improvements to the way it operates, so that people with arthritis do not face barriers to getting the right support.

Arthritis can make work more difficult, with tasks such as commuting, carrying equipment or even typing becoming challenging. Only 63% of working age adults with a musculoskeletal condition are in work, compared to 81% of people with no health conditions.

Toby said:

“As an Arthritis Champion, I understand the difficulties facing people with all forms of arthritis, and that is why I have committed myself to voicing those people’s concerns in parliament by being an Arthritis Champion.”

“4,368 people in Chesterfield are living with osteoarthritis of the hip, 7,325 with osteoarthritis of the knee and 15,160 with back pain. Many more are affected by other related conditions every day.

“I wanted to show support in Parliament for my constituents and highlight the steps we can all take to make life easier for people with arthritis who want to work. It is important that people with arthritis in Chesterfield are aware of the help available, such as the Access to Work scheme, and can access support when they need it.”

Arthritis can be understood within the class of “invisible illnesses”, a group of conditions which are often stigmatized and poorly understood. Recently, Toby held a debate in Parliament about Fibromyalgia – another invisible illness with some similar symptoms – which generated a huge amount of cross-party support for helping people with fibromyalgia and invisible illnesses more broadly.

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Welcome

I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

Contact Toby

Tel: 01246 386286
Email: toby.perkins.mp@parliament.uk
Post: 113 Saltergate, Chesterfield, S40 1NF

Surgeries

I hold regular surgeries for my constituents.
Please call 01246 386286 or email toby.perkins.mp@parliament.uk to make a booking.

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