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Mike Gapes MP pledges to become Arthritis Champion for Ilford South

Mike Gapes MP today attended the parliamentary reception of Arthritis Research UK and agreed to become an ‘Arthritis Champion’, supporting the charities ‘Prevent, Transform, Cure’ manifesto.

Musculoskeletal conditions include osteoarthritis, back pain and osteoporosis. They prevent people from doing the things others take for granted, such as going to work, playing with children or grandchildren, walking to the shops or going out with friends.

People living with these conditions often experience a great deal of pain and a loss of mobility. Over 10 million people in the UK have a musculoskeletal condition.

By agreeing to become an Arthritis Champion, Mike has pledged to:

- campaign to make musculoskeletal conditions a public health priority

- fight to ensure that people with arthritis get high-quality care at the time that they need it

- champion the UK’s leadership role in medical research.

Speaking about the manifesto, Mike Gapes said, “I am delighted to become an Arthritis Champion. Musculoskeletal conditions affect a huge number of people and are a significant cause of disability in the UK. These are painful conditions which can have a massive impact on every aspect of people’s lives. We need to see change that creates the best possible policy environment in which to prevent and cure these conditions. We also need an urgent transformation of the services available to those that are living with these conditions now.”

Dr Liam O’Toole, chief executive officer of Arthritis Research UK, said, “I’m delighted that Mike Gapes has become an Arthritis Champion. We need their help to champion the needs of people with arthritis both nationally and locally.

“Our Arthritis Research UK manifesto sets out an exciting vision for the future of musculoskeletal conditions. We are calling for policy changes to support the prevention, transformation and cure of musculoskeletal conditions. There is much that can be done: but we can’t do it alone. We need to work in partnership to put the needs of people with arthritis on the political agenda and transform the lives of people living with arthritis.”

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