John Healey at the Versus Arthritis 'Working It Out' receptionJohn Healey MP joined people living with arthritis at a Parliamentary event in Westminster.

John heard first hand 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 workplace assistance, such as specialist equipment, transport and support staff – but Versus Arthritis found 59% of people they spoke to had never heard of it.

Rotherham and Barnsley have a higher prevalence of back pain and osteoarthritis of the hip and knee than the UK as a whole.

In each town, more than 22,000 people – one in five – have osteoarthritis of the knee.

Only 63% of working age adults with a musculoskeletal condition are in work, compared to 81% of people with no health conditions.

John said: “I wanted to show support in Parliament for 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 our area are aware of the help available, such as the Access to Work scheme, and can access support when they need it.”