Why focus on arthritis?
Arthritis is an umbrella term encompassing conditions in which there is pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints.
Since 2001, we have published a suite of guidance and advice covering the diagnosis and management of different types of arthritis.
In this report, we look at the uptake and impact of our guidance on osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and spondyloarthritis (SpA).
Topics covered were identified as priorities during discussions with stakeholders, and highlight both successes and areas for improvement in arthritis care.
We recognise throughout the report that the health and social care system is complex and there are many factors that influence changes in practice and outcomes, including increased uptake of NICE guidance. We work with partners to support these changes.
NICE guidance plays a vital role in setting high standards for the care patients should receive, and ensuring it is implemented effectively.
- 20 million people in the UK live with arthritis or another musculoskeletal condition. (Source: Global Health Data Exchange, 2019)
- 28 million working days lost each year due to musculoskeletal conditions in the UK. (Source: Office for National Statistics, Sickness absence in the UK labour market dataset, 2018)
- £120 billion estimated cost of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis to the NHS over the next decade. (Source: Versus Arthritis, State of Musculoskeletal Health, 2021)
What we have published on arthritis
Insight from Zoë Chivers
Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions impact over 20 million people in the UK and affect every aspect of a person's life including their mental, social and financial wellbeing. There are significant health inequalities associated with arthritis, with women and those living in areas of high deprivation being most impacted.
Arthritis is also a major component of multimorbidity, and the loss of mobility and dexterity can prevent people managing their health and maintaining their independence.
Timely diagnosis, treatment and self-management support can enable people with arthritis to maintain their health and quality of life.