Template letter to parliamentary candidates

I am writing to draw your attention to the General Election manifesto published by the National
Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS), which highlights 10 actions the next Government can undertake to
help people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
RA is a chronic, progressive and disabling disease where the immune system attacks the synovial lining
to the joints and other organs. If left untreated, the joint can lose its shape and alignment, cause bone
erosion and lead to destruction of the joint and permanent disability. It is a systemic disease, which
means it can also affect internal organs of the body such as the heart, eyes and lungs.
I have a close personal interest in the disease and after reading NRAS’s manifesto it became clear to me
that there is a long way to go to improve RA services and that policymakers can play a significant role in
shaping the future quality of these services.
As your constituent, I am particularly keen to know whether you are willing to support and take action
around any of the 10 issues outlined in the manifesto (available at: www.nras.org.uk/2015manifesto),
such as the need to:
1. Introduce a national public awareness campaign to improve early diagnosis rates
2. Devise a Clinical Commissioning Group Outcome Indicator for RA
3. Create a Commissioning for Quality & Innovation (CQUIN) payment for Inflammatory Arthritis
4. Review the Best Practice Tariff on Early Inflammatory Arthritis and make public reporting compulsory
5. Create a Strategic Clinical Network for MSK disorders
6. Develop an Musculoskeletal (MSK) core dataset for Joint Strategic Needs Assessments
7. Make access to self management support a fundamental right within the NHS Constitution
8. Include RA within the list of medical exemptions to prescription charges
9. Publish progressive conditions guidance for the Employment and Support Allowance
10. Change the Personal Independence Payment’s 20 metre rule back to 50 metres
I look forward to receiving your response.