As experts in rheumatology, we need to offer support to commissioners in the NHS

Even in the nations that have not undergone the changes in the system seen in England, we need to help commissioners to find ways to transform care and offer value to patients and the taxpayer.

The British Society for Rheumatology, together with the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) and Arthritis Care, has formed the Musculoskeletal Solutions Alliance. The group offers support to commissioning bodies, advice and guidance to other medical bodies, and advice to providers to help them win tenders.

Find out more about the rheumatology commissioning support alliance

Upcoming Commissioning Workshops

Date   Region  Venue 
13 December 2016  East of England  Holiday Inn Cambridge 

BSR Commissioning Development Network meeting - 22 January

This meeting was organised by the BSR’s External and Engagement Committee as a follow-up to the Commissioning and the Voluntary Sector Seminar held in September 2013. The meeting involved a series of presentations and facilitated workshops that aimed to provide insight into the main challenges to commissioning and providing services for people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders. The following is a summary of the presentations and workshop discussions.

Find out more about the BSR commissioning development network meeting 


Commissioning chronic and complex care - first meeting of Midlands Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal (MSK) Commissioning network

On 4 November 2015, BSR hosted the inaugural meeting of the Midlands Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Commissioning network. A forum to identify opportunities to improve care for patients with rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders (RMDs).

The meeting was attended by a range of local stakeholders including providers, commissioners, local government, the voluntary sector, industry and academia. The network aims to provide opportunities to exchange knowledge, showcase local innovative models of care, facilitate access to data resources and promote collaboration. Chaired by Dr Peter Lanyon, the meeting involved a series of presentations and facilitated workshops, which have been summarised in the following report.

This event has set the blueprint for future commissioning events across BSR regions, with meetings planned for 2016 in Yorkshire, Humber & the North East; London; South West; East of England in addition to a second Midlands meeting.

  Summary of Midlands Commissioning Network


Diagrams about rheumatic and muscoloskeletal conditions


These PDFs have diagrams which are useful to explain the different rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions, and how patients with these conditions are treated.

Rheumatology musculoskeletal medical and long term conditions framework

Components of a rheumatology musculoskeletal medical and long term conditions service

Commissioning toolkit

We have posted a copy of our new Commissioning toolkit for providers to each unit. Regional chairs also have copies. Download the commissioning toolkit sample below. This sample is of chapters 1-2 and chapter 11. Chapters 3-10 and 12-13 are available only to logged-in BSR members.

We invite members to let us know if they need any other information to help in the new commissioning landscape. If you are not a BSR member, you can pay £15 to have access to the whole pdf, or £30 for a hard copy of the toolkit (prices exclude VAT). Please contact us to arrange payment.

Commissioning toolkit sample

A3 change proposals

Collaborative submissions Letter from Peter Lanyon regarding NHS England's work on ‘Specialised Services: Commissioning for Value’ (166kb pdf). A3 change proposals are a process for submitting service level change ideas, and this is an opportunity for rheumatologists to propose changes that would improve either value for our patients or value for money (ideally both) for the conditions within the specialised rheumatology service specification.

A3 change proposals