Voluntary Sector: Political focus for Arthritis Care

Arthritis Care is to target prospective parliamentary candidates to find out where they stand on issues that affect people with arthritis.

The charity will attempt to raise its profile with politicians to ensure arthritis is prioritised at Westminster over the forthcoming electoral term, in a bid to improve services for sufferers.

It is challenging each political party to state publicly what they intend to do to address the problem of arthritis and wants supporters to ask their local candidates about their stance on issues which concern them.

These include their position on access for arthritis sufferers to cutting-edge treatments, disability rights and employment of disabled people.

The electoral candidates will also be reminded of the impact of arthritis and the scale of the problem.

'The incidence of arthritis is so widespread that it is an issue parliamentary candidates cannot ignore,' said Arthritis Care Scottish policy and campaigns manager Marilyn Crosser.

'(The parliamentary candidates) must be very clear about what kind of difference they will make for the people living with arthritis in their constituency were they to be elected,' she added.

Campaigners will be encouraged to call radio phone-ins, go along to community meetings and get in touch with their local media to raise their concerns.

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