Children with Arthritis Awareness Month

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Children with arthritis are fed up waiting in pain. 688 is the number of children waiting to see a consultant paediatric rheumatologist for the treatment of childhood arthritis, Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). The latest figures show that the waiting list crisis has intensified.

The lack of facilities, resources, and inadequate staffing levels is leading to waiting lists of more than two years for children with suspected JA. This is despite recommendations from the British Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology (BSPAR), which states that children with suspected JA must be seen by the paediatric rheumatology team within four weeks of the referral begin made.

During the month of May, Arthritis Ireland is calling for the urgent appointment of consultant paediatric rheumatologist to be appointed at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin (OLCHC). John Church, CEO Arthritis Ireland, said: “Arthritis is often seen as an “old person’s disease” with “a few aches and pains,” however, it is a chronic disease impacting on children and young people in Ireland. Childhood arthritis needs to be given the respect and resources it deserves. Children on waiting lists are not just waiting in pain; they are also at risk of permanent, irreversible joint damage that impacts on their ability to live a normal a life as possible. These children deserve better. ”

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