Versus Arthritis; Northern Ireland is “UK’S pain capital”, latest waiting times data confirms

Responding to the release this morning of  waiting times  data for elective surgery Sara Graham, Northern Ireland Director at the charity Versus Arthritis said:

“ These figures confirm Northern Ireland’s place as the UK’s pain capital with the worst waiting times of anywhere in the country.  The data belies the daily reality of thousands of people with arthritis who are paying the price every day struggling to cope with persistent severe pain, worsening mental and physical health and reduced quality of life.

“We’re hearing directly from people who have had their surgery cancelled that they’re being left in limbo with no further updates or information about their treatment. People with arthritis are facing waits of up to six years while for others their financial stability is threatened by meeting the cost of private treatment.

“The health minister’s Elective Care Framework is a step in the right direction, but the massive and increasing backlog will take long term recurrent funding to solve. We need urgent action now to support both patients and an exhausted health service workforce. We’re calling for a support package that helps people manage their pain, supports their mental and physical health and gives clear and regular communication from healthcare professionals while they wait for surgery.”

Versus Arthritis News & PR Team, press@versusarthritis.org

About Versus Arthritis

Versus Arthritis is the UK’s leading arthritis charity. There are 18.8 million people living with a musculoskeletal (MSK) condition like arthritis in the UK. That’s one in four people, with half of those living in pain every single day. The impact is huge as the condition intrudes on everyday life – affecting the ability to work, care for a family, to move free from pain and to live independently. Yet arthritis is often dismissed as an inevitable part of aging or shrugged off as ‘just a bit of arthritis’. We don’t think that this is OK. Versus Arthritis is here to change that. Alongside volunteers, healthcare professionals, decision makers and researchers we do everything we can to push back against arthritis. Find out more at: www.versusarthritis.org

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