With patients’ rights comes patients’ responsibilities
The media is often awash with stories about patients’ rights – the rights to services, medicines and good quality care – but should those rights come with responsibilities? The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) is developing a new Responsibility Deal for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and those who make the decisions that affect the services people with RA receive. The charity is encouraging people to think differently about RA and to make changes that will have a real, positive impact on the care patients receive.
NRAS is conducting a survey of those with an interest in RA – patients, carers, healthcare professionals, policy-makers – to find out their views. The study is seeking to establish what responsibility patients and healthcare professionals have towards each other and also the people who pay the bill, ultimately the taxpayer. The study will assess what expectations there are on NHS service commissioners, politicians and policy-makers to make decisions that make a real difference to the lives of patients.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a costly disease. It is estimated that 580,000 people in England alone live with the condition and a further 26,000 cases are diagnosed every year. The cost of this to the NHS is £560 million each year with the total cost to the UK economy due to sickness absence from work and aspects of work-related disability estimated to be as high as £4.8 billion each year. In a time of limited resource it is essential that each patient has their condition managed effectively and so provide best value for money.
“Managing chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis is about teamwork with patients, healthcare professionals and policy makers working together towards a better outcome for everyone. We hope this Responsibility Deal will emphasise that we all have a responsibility to help foster improved partnerships between everyone involved in the care process” said Ailsa Bosworth, Chief Executive of NRAS.
The results of the study, incorporated into the new Responsibility Deal, will be published to coincide with World Arthritis Day on the 12th October.Click here
to go to the survey.ENDS
For further information on this please contact the NRAS PR & Press Officer – Andrew Scott – at firstname.lastname@example.org
/ 07703 026974.
• RA is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the joint tissue causing inflammation, stiffness, pain and extreme fatigue. If left untreated, the joint can lose its shape and alignment and lead to permanent disability.
• RA can affect people of any age but is most common after the age of 40. Around three quarters of people with RA are first diagnosed when of working age and women are three times as likely as men to have the disease.
• It is an often misunderstood disease, confused with osteoarthritis which is a wear and tear disease generally affecting the older population.
• NRAS provides support, information and advocacy for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis and their families, friends and carers. NRAS provides a resource for health professionals and works closely with rheumatology teams across the UK.
• The goal of NRAS is ‘working for a better life for people living with rheumatoid arthritis’ and this is sought by providing information, education, support and advocacy; raising public and government awareness of RA; campaigning for equity of access to best treatment and care; and facilitating the networking of people with RA and encouraging self-help.