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News - “Elephant in the Room”

QMU Nursing

Monday, 1 July 2019

QMU at the “Elephant in the Room” Event, Scottish Parliament, Holyrood

Brian Whittle MSP, Convenor of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Conditions Cross-Party Group visits Dr Margaret Smith at the QMU Lydia Osteoporosis Poster. Margaret regularly attends the group and deputises for Mrs Anne Simpson, the group’s secretary. (QMU is a registered charity.)

The Lydia Osteoporosis Project Team, QMU, and research supporters from NHS Lothian and Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnerships attended Holyrood on 15th May 2019! The Cross Party Group for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Conditions, represents a very active group of practitioners, charities, individuals with MSK conditions, health care researchers, clinical leads and members of the public. They organised this event to place Arthritis and MSK Conditions high on the agenda of our elected members of parliament, and aimed to directly influence health and social care policy plans for persons with these serious long-term conditions.

Garden Lobby Events capture the attention of MSPs, MEPs and the media, and enable Cross Party Groups to convey the serious impact health conditions can have on people’s lives across all age ranges. This event resonated strongly with the theme debated that afternoon in parliament on rising surgical waiting times for patients in Scotland. Invites were sent to Cross-Party Group members’ local representatives, many of whom stayed for the event. Our pop-up poster banners (including QMU’s Lydia Osteoporosis Project- below) were a great way to attract the attention of the many MSPs and MEPs as they came downstairs after the parliamentary debate!

The programme began with Brian Whittle MSP, formally welcoming all guests and introducing the work of the Arthritis and MSK Group. Key-note speakers included Joe Fitzpatrick MSP, Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing who gave a welcome address.

Professor Iain McInnes, CBE, Director of the Institute for Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, University of Glasgow alerted us to Arthritis and the Revolution in Therapies, now being used to treat these very complex conditions.

Professor Colin Howie (Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, University of Edinburgh and former President of the British Orthopaedic Association) took his opportunity to highlight the plight of people on waiting lists for major planned orthopaedic surgery. He included patient co-presenters who give magnificent testimonials about the impact of lengthy NHS waiting times on their overall health, wellbeing and capacity to work. They concluded with the very positive impacts that surgery had made on their quality of life, but for many this could have come sooner.

Health charities were: PMYGCAUK- Polymyalgia Rheumatica & Giant Cell Arteritis; British Society for Rheumatology; NASS (National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society); SPARN (a charity founded by parents with children with arthritis in 2009)- linked with paediatric rheumatologist networks to represent children with arthritis in Scotland and Versus Arthritis (Children’s project), and are celebrating their 10 year anniversary; ROS- The Royal Osteoporosis Society.

The reception was supported by the above charities.

There was lively discussion around the pop up posters and across the Lobby Area before the public guests arrived, and this continued through the event. At the Lydia stand we shared the link to our current MOOC and showcased some of the innovative education and very relevant research happening at QMU.

Please note, the Caring for My Bones Open Access Course is currently live on Blackboard OpenEducation- sign up is easy- please go in and take a look around using this link!! We plan to keep it open until July 2019.

Any questions about the Lydia Osteoporosis Project please contact Margaret Smith on Tel 0131 474 0000 ext. 2964 (ask for Dr Margaret Smith when prompted, or leave a message when directed to voicemail).

Margaret Smith, Principal Investigator, Lydia Osteoporosis Project, Senior Lecturer Nursing, Division of Nursing, QMU. Member of Centre for Person-centred Practice Research and Centre for Applied Social Sciences at QMU.

Completed 23rd May 2019

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