Justin Madders, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, joined people living with arthritis at a recent Parliamentary event and learnt about the impact the chronic pain associated with the condition can have on the ability to remain in employment.
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. However, the charity found that 59% of people they spoke to had never heard of the Access to Work scheme, with many more unaware of the type of help it can provide.
“Around 13,000 people in Ellesmere Port and Neston are living with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee and countless more are affected by other related conditions.
“It is very worrying to learn that many people who could benefit from the Access to Work scheme have never heard of it or find it difficult to access; so many people with arthritis are going without the support they need and are unnecessarily struggling or dropping out of work.
“The Government must make the promotion of its scheme and ease of access to it a priority so that people do not face barriers to getting the right support. Every person with arthritis who wants to work should have the assistance they need in order to do so.”