Henry calls for better support to keep people with arthritis in work

Henry recently joined people living with arthritis at a Parliamentary drop-in on Tuesday 2nd July hosted by Versus Arthritis. Henry heard firsthand about the impact the chronic pain associated with the condition can have on the ability to remain in employment and how to ensure every person with arthritis who wants to work has the support they need.

At the event, healthcare charity, Versus Arthritis launched its new report, Working it Out: Demanding More From the Access to Work Scheme. Access to Work is a government scheme that can provide valuable workplace assistance, such as specialist equipment, transport and support staff.

Commenting Henry said: “Sadly 5,148 people in North West Norfolk are living with osteoarthritis of the hip, 8,722 with osteoarthritis of the knee and 17,308 with back pain. Many more are affected by other related conditions every day. Arthritis slowly intrudes on everyday life, affecting someone’s quality of life, independence, mental health and ability to work. But we know that most people with arthritis want to work, and many can with the right support.”

“I wanted to show support in Parliament for my constituents and highlight the steps we can all take to make life easier for people with arthritis who want to work. It is important that people with arthritis in North West Norfolk are aware of the help available, such as the Access to Work scheme, and can access support when they need it.”

Henry went on to say: “I very much welcome the fact the Government has pledged to see one million more disabled people and those with long-term health conditions in work by 2027. To achieve this target, it is vital that people with arthritis have the support they need to stay in or return to work. Indeed, Access to Work is a truly wonderful Government-funded scheme. The grant awarded by the scheme can be used to pay for practical help to enable people to start work, stay in work, or move into self-employment. It can fund support including specialist equipment, support workers, transport to and from a workplace as well as during the working day, mental health support services and disability awareness training for colleagues.”