The boss of Scotland’s leading arthritis charity has thanked MSP Rona Mackay for hosting the organisation at a parliamentary reception.
At the Scottish Parliament on December 5, Arthritis UK told MSPs and guests about the latest big issues affecting the charity and how the disease is being tackled by medical experts.
They also heard from young arthritis patient Charlotte Bamford, who was extensively tested between the ages of 18 and 23 after suffering severe pain in her legs and feet but was finally diagnosed with arthritis this year at the age of 24.
Brian Whittle MSP, the convenor on the Holyrood Cross Party Group on Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Conditions, highlighted the impact of arthritis and the need for action on behalf of people with musculoskeletal conditions in Scotland.
In Scotland, it’s understood there are more than 700,000 living with osteoarthritis, 37,000 people with rheumatoid arthritis and almost one million people with back pain.
Ms Mackay said: “The number of people living with some form of arthritis in Scotland is overwhelming – and this event was to give these people a voice in the Scottish Parliament.
“I was incredibly glad to give Arthritis UK a platform inside Holyrood to inform MSPs, their own stakeholders and other guests about the latest progress in their amazing organisation.
“It was touching to hear from Charlotte Bamford, who at such a young age has to endure challenges unlike most other people. It is to change the lives of people like Charlotte that motivates me to support Arthritis UK’s work.”
Dr Liam O’Toole, chief executive officer of the charity, said: “I’m delighted that Rona Mackay MSP sponsored our event. It’s imperative that we have the support of as many MSPs as possible to stand up for the rights of people with arthritis.
“There needs to be a public health approach focusing on preventing arthritis, transforming services and finding a cure for the huge numbers of people in Scotland affected by this devastating condition. It’s vital we work together to make life better for everyone affected by arthritis.”