Lauren and Jack, our Devolved Nations Liaison Officer and Public Affairs Manager attended a Garden Lobby Evening Reception for the Cross Party Group on Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Conditions on 15 of May at the Scottish Parliament.

The two staff members hosted a British Society for Rheumatology stand alongside patient charities including Versus Arthritis, SNAC, NRAS and many more stakeholders with an interest in campaigning for a Scottish health service that is able to provide timely and effective treatment for patients with rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders.

The event was hosted by Brian Whittle MSP, the Convener of the Cross Party Group and a keen supporter of BSR and SSR work and engagement programme with Scottish Parliament. Amongst the speakers were: Professor Iain McInnes CBE, Director of the Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation at the University of Glasgow and; President-Elect European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR), and Professor Colin Howie; Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon with, NHS Lothian; Past President of the British Orthopaedic Association. Joe FitzPatrick MSP, Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing spoke on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Following on from the lobbying surrounding the Rheumatology in Scotland: State of Play report from 2018, and meetings with Minister Joe Fitzpatrick MSP earlier in 2019, Holyrood played host to this great opportunity to stoke the political engagement in Scotland, with over 15 MSPs and Ministers visiting the BSR stand during the reception.