Ben Bradshaw – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Ben Bradshaw on 2015-11-30.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what support his Department provides to people with inflammatory arthritis to help them to stay in work.

Jane Ellison

We are aware that a high proportion of people with inflammatory arthritis are of working age. Inflammatory arthritis is a major cause of sickness absence.

Treatment for inflammatory arthritis has improved dramatically with the development of new drugs. It is essential for people with relevant symptoms to present early to their general practitioner and for the condition to be diagnosed promptly. Ensuring that people have access to the best possible treatment and support provides the greatest scope to enable people with inflammatory arthritis to stay in work.

The newly formed Work and Health Unit is a joint endeavour between Department of Health and Department for Work and Pensions. The Unit has been established to lead the drive for improving work and health outcomes for people with health conditions and disabilities, as well as improving prevention and support for people absent from work through ill health and those at risk of leaving the workforce.

In the Spending Review the Government has provided at least £115 million of funding for the Unit including a Work and Health Innovation Fund.