NASS has had a steady presence in Parliament over the years, with the most recent success being the formation of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Axial Spondyloarthritis (APPG). The group is co-chaired by Tom Randall MP and Lord Campbell-Savours, who both live with axial SpA (AS). Tom Randall also hosted an adjournment debate in parliament in September to discuss the delay to diagnosis. Read more about our work with the APPG here.
In September 2020, Tom Randall led an adjournment debate on the delay to diagnosis which led to a promise of a meeting with the Health Minister. After several delays due to COVID and other political events, we were able to meet in June 2022 with Gillian Keegan MP.
Tom Randall was also able to ask a question in the House of Commons Health Questions on the issue of hydrotherapy pools reopening, securing another meeting with a minister. This then kick started the formation of the Aquatic Physiotherapy and Hydrotherapy Alliance.
Other campaigns and successes over the years include the 2013 launch of ‘AS it is’ campaign, calling for a Clinical Guideline and Quality Standard to be produced by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
An adjournment debate in the Houses of Parliament and subsequent meeting with the health minister at the time led to the publication of the NICE Guideline for Spondyloarthritis in 2017, and the corresponding Quality Standard in 2018.
In Scotland, we are pleased to be members of the Cross Party Group for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Conditions, chaired by Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP. Members of the NASS team attend and present regularly, and we are also fortunate to have several of our members in Scotland attend as well to make the case for axial SpA.