Bury North MP James Frith has pledged to work alongside leading charity Versus Arthritis to represent the thousands of people in Bury living every day with the pain of arthritis.

Arthritis and related conditions, such as back pain, are the single biggest cause of pain and disability in the UK, affecting 17.8 million people. Arthritis can impact all areas of someone’s life, including their ability to work, socialise, care for a family and even move freely without pain. For many, it steals their independence, which often leads to isolation that can leave them disconnected from the life they want to live.

As well as the personal impact, these conditions have a huge effect on our society and economy, amounting to the third largest area of NHS spending at £4.7 billion. One in five people consult a GP about a musculoskeletal problem every year, and these conditions are the cause of over 20% of all working days lost each year in the UK.

As an Arthritis Champion, James has pledged to support people with arthritis by speaking up for them in Parliament and together with Versus Arthritis, James will demand better for people with arthritis.

James said: “I’m proud to be an Arthritis Champion and pledge to speak up for the thousands of people with arthritis in Bury. Arthritis can affect every aspect of a person’s life, but it is too often dismissed as inevitable and insignificant.

“I look forward to working with Versus Arthritis to challenge the impact of the condition by pushing arthritis up the political agenda and tackling the issues facing people with arthritis in Bury. No-one should have to tolerate the pain, fatigue and isolation of arthritis. That’s why I am Versus Arthritis.”

Dr Liam O’Toole, Chief Executive Officer of Versus Arthritis, said: “I’m delighted that James has become an Arthritis Champion. From getting dressed and going to work, to cooking meals and caring for family, arthritis steals life’s fundamentals. Many people spend years living with severe pain and fatigue, with a knock-on impact on their mental health. It’s vital that MPs join our movement to push back against arthritis by helping to raise awareness of the condition and ensure everyone has the support they need.”

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