Received reply from member of parliament Re-Latest campaign


Hi All

Thought it would be nice to share this email I received after signing up to versus Arthiritis campaign and emailing my local MP

Dear Julie,

Thank you for contacting me about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on people living with arthritis.

There are roughly ten million people in the UK living with arthritis. However, it often goes unnoticed or ignored by individuals and wider society. I sympathise profoundly with anyone who is affected and I pay tribute to organisations like Versus Arthritis for their work in raising awareness and campaigning for better services.

The coronavirus emergency has demonstrated beyond all doubt just how important our health service is and I pay tribute to frontline workers who are responding to this unprecedented challenge. I recognise the impact the virus has had on the NHS’s ability to deliver routine care. Protecting the NHS throughout the pandemic has sadly come at a cost, with cancelled operations and treatment delayed.

Before the pandemic, waiting lists for treatment stood at a record 4.5 million. Last year, more than 24,000 patients waited more than 18 weeks for hip replacement surgery, while more than 31,000 people waited longer than 18 weeks for knee replacement surgery.

Many vulnerable people living with arthritis who are waiting longer for treatment are often in pain and suffer from distress and anxiety. This runs the serious risk that their health will deteriorate further, with poorer outcomes for patients who are waiting longer than six months, when treatment is less effective.

Resetting the NHS to continue treating COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients is an important priority to address the growing burden of unmet clinical need. The Government has said the resumption of NHS services will include resources to support clinicians in having better shared decision-making conversations with orthopaedic patients whose surgery was postponed during the pandemic.

I will press the Government to urgently bring forward a resourced plan to ensure that our health service can provide the care and treatment that people living with arthritis deserve. Beyond the pandemic, I believe Ministers must guarantee the standards of healthcare patients are entitled to under the NHS Constitution. This must include a commitment that people living with arthritis can access life-changing surgery when it will make the most difference.

Thank you once again for contacting me about this important issue.


Best wishes


Jonathan Reynolds MP

Member of Parliament for Stalybridge and Hyde

Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions



  • N1gel
    N1gel Member Posts: 161

    I wonder what reply I'd get to the same question from Jacob Rees Mogg 😂 I wrote to him with a question about the perceived eligibility criteria for disability benefits and received a gobbledeygook reply about the 'bedroom tax' and 'the disabled' 😠

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,742

    @N1gel you’re lucky it wasn’t in Latin!

    Sadly I’m profoundly cynical about politicians, particularly when it comes to the NHS, so I don’t set much store by their palliative self-promoting replies. There are one or two decent souls in the braying rabble in Parliament, but they must feel like they're pushing water uphill most of the time, however heartfelt their responses.