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A local group of the National Rheumatoid  Arthritis Society


20th September 2012 - Guest Speakers -  Sue McAusland, Podiatrist.

Footcare and footwear - a topic that rates highly for those with RA. Sue gave an interesting talk to the group on this important topic. Starting with an overview of her team, she explained what the Podiatry Department of Blackpool Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation trust does for their clients. Referral to the team must be from GP, Consultant or can be made from the specialist nurse. They work to The North West Clinical Effectiveness Guidelines for rheumatoid Arthritis and their objective is to improve foot and ankle assessment and management. This ranges from simple foot care advice, palliative care for nails and skin and orthotic / specialist footwear provision through to management of ulceration and infection. Sue illustrated her talk with example pictures of poor foot health and examples of good and not-so-good footwear. With a practical session on how to measure our feet in advance of going shoe shopping, Sue provided lots of advice and tips on how to better manage and look after our feet. With a very busy Q&A session Sue answered many questions and agreed for a copy of her presentation to be available here.

Many thanks to you Sue for an interesting and educational talk. We hope to be able to invite you back.

Click here to view the presentation slides

19th July 2012 - Guest Speakers-  Louise Ralston, Dietitian.

 The message from Louise was healthy eating doesn't need to be time consuming or boring. It is simply about getting the balance right and trying to keep changes that you make long term. there are no foods that are ‘banned’ for people with RA nor are there any diets or dietary supplements that will cure RA. You can enjoy eating a variety of different foods as part of a healthy eating plan.  Eat plenty of foods rich in starch and fibre. Eat a more Mediterranean-style diet - plenty of fruit and vegetables. Don't eat too many foods that contain a lot of fat. Eat oily fish but do take caution with fish liver oils e.g. Cod liver oils, halibut liver oils - Concerns with overdosing on vitamin A). Don't have sugary foods and drinks too often. Eat less salt. If you drink alcohol, drink sensibly. Maintaining a healthy weight is important if you have any form of arthritis.

Thank you Louise for an informative talk.

17th May 2012 - Guest Speakers-  Janice Booth, Rheumatology Nurse Practitioner, Shirley Galloway, Occupational Therapist & Jenny Stockdale. Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist.

The topic of this meeting was pain management.

3 presentations in one night from our greatest supporters! The group was treated to an evening explaining what pain is, why do we get it, how to manage it and, how to try to prevent it..

Janice gave us lots of information on why we get pain and the variety of pain killers available to take in order to ease the pain - alalgesics (Non-opoid, NSAID’s, Compound, Opoids) and DMARDS, biologic therapies & Steroids.

Jenny explained the effects of RA upon our joints, the importance in maintaining joint movement and taking rest. Joint pain and the use of ice packs (bag of peas!), wheat wraps, TENS machine and hydrotherapy baths.

Shirley’s talk was based on the message of ‘don’t let it get to the pain stage’. Prevention is better than managing pain. Take rest, don’t do too much - the dust will be back tomorrow, the windows will get dirty again! Allow the body to relax. Shirley then led a relaxation session that gave us an introduction in how to relax and allow the body time to rest.

Thank you Janice, Shirley & Jenny once again for an interesting, informative talk and for your time.

15th March 2012 - Guest Speaker - Dr. S Jones, Consultant Rheumatologist

Those who attended this meeting were treated to an extremely interesting talk. Dr Jones gave us an insight into how the drugs used in rheumatology work and a great analogy of how their effect depends on the drug concentration and the patients’ metabolic rate. He spoke about Rheumatology drugs – Analgesics, NSAIDs, Steroids, DMARDs, Biologics and the impact on the body, including their side-effects.  With information on what to do if the drugs are not working, Dr Jones closed his presentation with a look at new developments in RA drugs. A Q&A session took place with Dr Jones answering the many and varied questions.

Lyn Wilson thanked Dr Jones for his time in addressing the group and he agreed to allow his presentation to be available from this site.

Click here to view the presentation slides

An excellent presentation that kept us all enthralled. It is hoped that Dr Jones will accept our invitation to return.

19th January 2012 - Guest Speaker - Janice Booth, Rheumatology Nurse Practitioner

What is DAS? Is it important? How is it measured? These were some of the many questions Janice answered in her informative and interesting talk. Janice explained that DAS - Disease Activity Score - is a number that measures your RA. It is calculated by your nurse or doctor based on several tests, including the number of swollen or tender joints - 28 (not feet!) you have, an assessment of how you feel your condition is and the results of your most recent blood test. Your DAS is then used to assess your condition and how well it is responding to treatment and as a factor in deciding on the best treatment. After answering a number of questions, Janice reminded us that our DAS should be stable and as low as possible.

Click here to view the presentation slides

Thanks for coming along again Janice and educating us on an indicator we should all be aware of.

Still a pity it doesn’t include feet though

17th November 2011 - BADRAG 1st Birthday - This month was the 1st birthday of BADRAG. As a celebration, a ‘party’ was held at Clifton Hospital. Rather than having a speaker on the evening, it was decided to have a more social event with with a quiz. Tea, coffee, sandwiches and a birthday cake were enjoyed by all those attending. An enjoyable evening where we were able to meet with others. Thanks to all the Rheumatology, Occupational Therapy teams for coming along. See the photographs from this event here.

29th October 2011 - BADRAG Raise it Day - This event was held at The White Church, Fairhaven. It was held as part of NRAS 10th birthday to raise funds and generate a greater awareness of RA by holding an afternoon tea at this marvellous venue. The afternoon was a great success with the many visitors enjoying tea, cakes and the many stalls - raffles, jewellery, Christmas cards, tombola, books, bric-a-brac. Thanks to all those that attended and especially to the BADRAG volunteers on the day, that the event raised just over £600, which has been sent to NRAS. See the photographs from this event here.

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