“People with rheumatoid arthritis want and should have the right to work and contribute to society. Three quarters of people are of working-age when they are diagnosed with RA1. It is therefore vital that these individuals have access to the services they need to help them stay in work. We must also raise awareness amongst local employers in Sheffield about the importance of creating flexible and accessible workplace environments to assist employees with long-term conditions, such as RA to stay in work.”
42% of people with RA are registered disabled within three years and four fifths are moderately to severely disabled within 20 years of diagnosis. The condition can shorten life expectancy from around 6-10 years and can have a major impact on a person’s life as well as impacting on the rest of the family.
Chester Campaigner For Disabled Visits Westminster
A well known disabled campaigner went to Westminster to help Parliamentarians learn more about the impact of rheumatoid arthritis on people’s working lives.
Lynda Hesketh, a leading light in the Chester Ad-PHAB club for disabled and non-disabled people, and other National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society members, joined MPs on World Arthritis Day, including Chester MP Christine Russell.
MPs were told RA is an “incredibly painful disease” affecting more than 580,000 people in England and can cause severe disability. It mainly affects the joints but can impact on other organs.
Ailsa Bosworth, chief executive and founder of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, said: “Policymakers must consider the economic burden imposed on individuals, families and society if people with RA are unable to work.