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A local group of the National Rheumatoid  Arthritis Society


15th May 2014 - Open Forum - We all benefit from the experiences of others

For this meeting, we held an open forum to discuss and share our lives of living with RA. Janice Booth, Rheumatology Nurse Practitioner, was on hand to answer our many questions. A general discussion took place as a result of the many questions raised. Our thanks to Janice for answering all the issues raised and to all those attending for making the evening helpful and informative. I’m sure we all learned something new that will help us to live with RA. Some of the questions raised were…

How useful is ultrasound when used for investigating joint damage? I hear other hospitals use it as a regular tool, is it used in Blackpool?

How close are we to finding a solution to the problem of treating RA with the correct medication at the outset? I've had so much stuff and many years down the line I'm still suffering.

I suffer terribly with problems in my feet yet this is not taken account of in my DAS, making my score unreliable. Why is this?

Can the medication we take for RA be the cause of heart problems?

No-one seems to be able to tell me why I have RA? Surely in this day and age with so much emphasis on research someone somewhere has some answers?

Can RA lead to osteoporosis?

I've heard that having one auto-immune disorder can initiate the development of others. Is this right?

I'm taking five different medications for my RA. How do I know which are actually working? Seems less than wise to be taking tablets unnecessarily!

Can I arrange to see a physiotherapist / occupational therapist?

I have several health problems requiring consultations with three separate consultants each specialising in

their own area. At no time do they seem to come together which is worrying as how can I be sure I'm receiving the most appropriate treatment for my conditions?

To find the answers to these and the many other questions about RA, then come along to our meetings on the 3rd Thursday of alternate months. See our calendar of events for our next meeting, You will be welcomed

20th March 2014 - Guest Speaker - Vicky Crosbie. Occupational Therapist,

Blackpool, Fylde & Wyre NHS Hospitals Trust.

16th January 2014 - Guest Speaker - Jenny Stockdale. Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist,

Blackpool, Fylde & Wyre NHS Hospitals Trust.

Jenny explained the effect of RA on the joints  and the importance in maintaining joint movement through exercise and taking rest. A survey of those attending highlighted the wide range of activities that provide ‘non-impact’ exercise - swimming, walking, Pilates, Tai Chi, dancing, aerobics, Yoga and cycling. Joint movement and exercise is something that we should be doing every day - use it, or lose it - but it should be something that should be enjoyed! low-impact workouts are typically less hard on the body, especially our joints, and can be a great way to get in a heart-pumping workout while reducing the risk of injury. Plus, it's a no-brainer that exercise is great for keeping the heart healthy and lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease — something that's never too early to start thinking about. Exercise also make you feel much better about ourselves. Joint pain and the use of ice packs (bag of peas!), wheat wraps, TENS machine and hydrotherapy baths. Jenny then got us all performing a number of exercises that got our joints moving and could be performed whilst standing, sitting or even in bed!

Jenny then went on to answer a number of related questions from those attending.

We would like to thank Jenny for taking time to speak with us and for her continued support for BADRAG since its formation in 2010.

21st November 2013 - BADRAG 3rd Birthday - BADRAG celebrated their 3rd birthday at Clifton Hospital, along with many friends. No invited speaker for this party, but all enjoyed a few games of bingo! After a few issues with with the bingo calling equipment - the bingo number balls were rather small and fiddley! - Bingo caller Jack was soon into the swing of the game (we think he must have worked on Blackpool prom!) With nibbles and drinks followed by birthday cake and raffle, everyone enjoyed an  evening with friends. Thanks to all those that came to celebrate with BADRAG. Special thanks to the Rheumatology and Occupational team members for their support and hope that we will see you all again at BADRAG meeting through 2014 and at our 4th birthday party in November. See pictures from the party by clicking here.

19th Sept 2013 - Guest Speaker-  Professor J. Goodacre, Professor of Musculoskeletal Science. Lancaster University.

A different type of talk today for BADRAG. Prof. Goodacre came to explain and discuss with us about research and clinical trials. Explaining that one of his many jobs (see his profile here) was Clinical Director of Cumbria and Lancashire Comprehensive Local Research Network (CLCLRN), one of 25 area’s within the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Explaining what is clinical research, the Professor led a discussion about our involvement and reasons for being involved.  He went on to make us aware of the ‘ It’s OK to Ask’ about clinical research campaign. If we have a medical condition and are undergoing treatment, we were urged to ask our GP, nurse or consultant about clinical research and if it would be right for us. Clinical research is the way in which we improve treatments in the NHS.

Thanks were given to Professor Goodacre for his thought provoking visit.

For further information on the ‘OK to Ask’ campaign, NIHR, the CLCLRN then visit their website at www.crncc.nihr.ac.uk

18th July 2013 - Guest Speaker-  Dr Rao, Consultant Rheumatologist - RA

Another interesting and informative presentation from Dr Rao. Explaining what is RA, how it presents itself and what causes it, Dr Rao gave us all lots of facts about RA. How 0.8% of the population are affected and that 3 times more women have RA than men. The treatment methods for RA were then explained to us - patient education of RA, referral to multi-professional teams, medication, and when appropriate, surgery.

Current concepts and future plans for the management of RA were also mentioned. Dr Rao closed her presentation by sharing with the group the achievements of people with RA. The list included… well have a look at the presentation by clicking here. Following a Q&A session, BADRAG group coordinator Lyn Wilson thanked Dr Rao for coming along and for her presentation.

16th May 2013 - Guest Speaker-  Val Eyre, NRAS fund raiser - The Work of NRAS - The way ahead.

Val had travelled from NRAS HQ (Maidenhead) to present to BADRAG members an overview of the work of NRAS. She explained that NRAS role is to make ‘a better life for those living with RA’, and gave an outline of NRAS goals for the next few years. Two forthcoming events, driven by NRAS, were then described. RA  Awareness Week (24-30 June 3013) and World Arthritis day - 12 October 2013. Val explained the purpose of these events and the activities that NRAS were hoping group members and friends would take part. With lots of ways that individuals can participate in raising funds for NRAS, to continue their good work, Val reminded attendees that NRAS was only a phone call away for those seeking help and support. Answering questions, Val then passed on to the group and members best wishes.

Lyn then thanked Val for visiting the group and for her presentation. A copy of Val’s presentation can be seen by clicking here.

21st March 2013 - Your RA - This was a change in approach for BADRAG meetings. Following an introduction on forthcoming events and the services of NRAS, leader of BADRAG, Lyn Wilson shared with the group her experience and history since developing RA. This then led to a whole group discussion on members own problems, experiences and issues of living with RA. From the changes to medication ingredients, Rheumatoid Nodules to Disability Living Allowance, the group participated in an interesting evening. It was felt that we all learnt something new and this format may be used again for a future date.

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