Mark Hunter MP calls for action to help people with Rheumatoid Arthritis to stay in work

October 21, 2008 4:26 PM

Mark backing action by the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society to support people living with Rheumatoid Arthritis

This week, Mark Hunter MP for Cheadle, has today backed calls from the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) for positive action to support people living with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and help them to stay in work.

Mr Hunter attended a special event in parliament - Think Positive - organised by NRAS to commemorate World Arthritis Day. The event highlighted how positive thinking plays a crucial role for many people living with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), helping them cope with what is a chronic, painful and disabling disease.

Mr Hunter and the NRAS are calling for the Government to support the 400,000 people living with the condition in the UK by addressing issues of access to treatment and work. An NRAS survey of over 700 people with RA revealed that almost a third had to give up work early because of their disease and a massive 86% of people with RA had either already experienced or anticipated experiencing barriers to remaining in employment. Only half of respondents said that they had been offered some level of support to remain in employment and one fifth found their employer unhelpful to their efforts to stay working.

Mr Hunter comments: "It is essential to support people with long term conditions like rheumatoid arthritis to remain in work, stay independent and continue to make a contribution to their family and society.

"More needs to be done to support people with RA in the workplace effectively, and we need to ensure that all RA patients can get access to the right support, effective treatments and multi-disciplinary care that is crucial to supporting people with rheumatoid arthritis stay in work.

"I am very happy to be working with the NRAS to raise awareness of RA, and I will continue to impress on Government the need to support people with RA so they can help people with RA face the challenges of living and working with the condition."

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