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Prime Minister joins fight against arthritis

Published on 23 April 2015

David Cameron

Prime Minister David Cameron has joined forces with Arthritis Research UK in the fight against arthritis by becoming an Arthritis Champion.

Ed MilibandThe Prime Minister (pictured above) joins the leaders of the Labour Party (pictured right) and the Liberal Democrats (pictured below) in their support of Arthritis Research UK’s groundbreaking Prevent, Transform, Cure manifesto, which sets out the key challenges that need to be met in the next parliament in the battle against arthritis.

Arthritis is the biggest cause of pain and disability across the UK, with nearly 10 million people living with the condition. 

Nick CleggIn his pledge to join the fight, the Prime Minister and Conservative Party Leader agreed to 'fight against this terrible disease' for the millions of people 'living with constant and sometimes unbearable pain' of arthritis.

David Cameron is one of nearly 400 prospective MPs from across all UK parties who have signed up to be Arthritis Champions, pledging to stand up for people living with arthritis in their own constituencies if elected on 7 May. Political action is vital if we're to make real progress in the next parliament to prevent and cure arthritis, and transform the lives of people with the condition.- Dr Liam O’Toole, Arthritis Research UK Chief Executive

Mr Clegg and Mr Miliband have also pledged their support for the campaign.

The two leaders welcomed the manifesto’s calls for policies that will lead to the prevention and cure of musculoskeletal conditions while transforming the services provided for people living with them.

Commenting, Dr Liam O’Toole, Arthritis Research UK Chief Executive, said: “The fact that the leaders of the governing parties and the leader of the opposition support our manifesto demonstrates the importance of arthritis.

“Political action is vital if we're to make real progress in the next parliament to prevent and cure arthritis, and transform the lives of people with the condition.

“I’m looking forward to working with all the party leaders and the hundreds of candidates who have become Arthritis Champions during the next parliament so that we can make a real difference to the lives of people with arthritis.”

What do the party leaders say on the fight against arthritis?

Conservative Party Leader and Prime Minister David Cameron:

“The Conservative Party Manifesto 2015 sets out our clear commitment to support the NHS’s own action plan for the next five years, the Five Year Forward View, and to invest a further £8 billion in the NHS by the end of the next Parliament.

"As part of this, a core priority for the Conservative Party in the next Parliament is to continue to integrate services around the patient. We will break down the barriers in how care is provided between family doctors and hospitals, between physical and mental health, and between health and social care.

"I am committed to transforming lives of people with musculoskeletal conditions through more integrated, person-centred care. Musculoskeletal conditions, like arthritis, can have a huge impact on people’s lives. This is particularly true for the many people living with constant and sometimes unbearable pain. As a result, there are also huge costs for the health system and society more widely.

"I would be delighted to become an Arthritis Champion, joining Arthritis Research UK in the fight against this terrible disease, campaigning in my local community, and raising awareness of the needs of people with arthritis."

Liberal Democrat Party Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg:

“I fully understand how debilitating arthritis can be for thousands of people nationwide. Many of us know someone who suffers from the condition and have seen first-hand the way it makes even the most everyday of tasks an uphill struggle.

"The Lib Dems are fully committed to continuing the work we have done in government to support the NHS and make it one of the best in Europe. At the heart of that is ensuring that people with ongoing health problems such as arthritis receive the quality care and support they need. That’s why we’re committed to providing an extra £8 billion to the NHS by 2020.

"The work carried out by Arthritis Research UK is invaluable in terms of raising awareness of the condition and bringing in charitable fundraising to support vital research. As we all face the challenges of a rapidly ageing population, its efforts to investigate both causes and cure couldn’t be more timely.

"I warmly welcome the publication of the Arthritis Research UK manifesto Prevent, Transform, Cure and its contribution to the election debate.

"The call for greater focus on preventative measures, integrated person-centred care and support for ground-breaking research very much chimes with our own healthcare policy objectives. I look forward to seeing these issues aired and debated widely by all parties before the general election and wish Arthritis Research UK every success with the manifesto."

Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband:

“With over 10 million people in the UK affected by arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions, this manifesto raises crucial challenges that policymakers must confront. Integrated, whole-person care is essential if we are to improve services for people living with these conditions, while doing all we can to prevent them in the first place is vital for improving health and ensuring the NHS remains sustainable for the future."

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Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.