UK Announces Plan to Tackle Arthritis

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A new approach to help tackle one of the biggest causes of disability in Wales was announced by the Minister for Health and Social Services 21 February 2007.

The publication of the Service Development and Commissioning Directives for Arthritis and Chronic Musculoskeletal Conditions is the result of work undertaken by a multi-agency and multi-professional group tasked with identifying the key actions to help improve musculoskeletal health across Wales. It highlights that a more integrated approach to planning and delivering services for arthritis and chronic musculoskeletal conditions is the key to prevention, early assessment and diagnosis, improved treatment and supporting independence.

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Dr Gibbons said: "I welcome the new Commissioning Directives for Arthritis and Chronic Musculoskeletal Conditions because they will provide the basis for taking an integrated approach forward with all key partners, building on the good work already underway across Wales.

"It will help guide commissioners and planners in designing services most effectively.

"Providing care and support in the most appropriate setting and ensuring that access to health, social care and voluntary sector services is streamlined, timely and efficient is a key challenge for us. This will of course require good partnership working within health and between health and other key organisations including local authority services and the voluntary sector.

"The Directives put the individual firmly at the centre of services supported by clear pathways of care where all organisations involved in care and support are aware of each others roles and responsibilities at all stages of the individual's journey. They aim to ensure that musculoskeletal health is promoted and preserved.

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