Category Archives: News

4th Annual Scientific Meeting

The 4th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Centre for Musculoskeletal Health and Work will be held in Southampton on 13th February 2018 from 9am to 4.30pm.  We’re looking forward to it!

Health matters: Productive healthy ageing and MSK

Launch event at Public Health England 6th December 2017

Professor Dame Carol Black and Professor Karen Walker-Bone were delighted to join Professor John Newton (Director of Health Improvement) for a lively telephone/online question and answer session on the launch of the latest edition of PHE’s Health Matters.  Follow the link for more information!

Over 150 people were on the line, ranging from NHS commissioners, CCGs, NHS and public health professionals, local authorities and third sector organisations. Follow this link for a selection of the questions and answers from the session.


Centre of Excellence involved with parliamentary launch of new report October 2017

Arthritis Research UK/MRC Centre for Musculoskeletal Health and Work Members participated in the Parliamentary Launch of the NRAS ‘Work Matters’ report, attended by the Minister for Work and Disabled People, Penny Mordaunt. The report collates the experiences of more than 1000 people with rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis, following up from a similar survey carried out by the Charity a decade before.

The findings show that people affected by inflammatory arthritis want to work but still find difficulty getting into and remaining in the workplace. Many people pointed to the value of supportive line management and flexibility in enabling work participation.

Dr Suzanne Verstappen (Centre co-applicant) led the research team who analysed the survey responses at the University of Manchester

The report provides advice and recommendations for employers, policy-makers and people with arthritis. NRAS plans to develop a new set of resources for these groups and our Centre has committed to support this endeavour. The Minister described the report as ‘timely’ and praised the Charity for their work to represent patients. She said that the Government were preparing to make some important announcements in this area very soon.

Centre Director Karen Walker-Bone assisted with designing the survey questions and wrote a foreword for the report

The full report can be accessed at:

Right Honourable MP Penny Mordaunt, Minister for Work and Disabled People speaking at the launch event


EPICOH 2017 Lifetime achievement award

We were thrilled that Professor David Coggon (Founding Director of CMHW) received a lifetime achievement award at EPICOH 2017 for his work in Occupational Epidemiology.  He gave an invited lecture: “Why have we failed to prevent back pain in working populations?”

HEAF study news

Members of the CMHW team recently attended the 26th International Symposium on Epidemiology in Occupational Health (EPICOH) in Edinburgh.

They presented two oral papers and two posters on findings from the HEAF study and were delighted to win the prize for best poster presentation for the poster “The profile of informal carers in a cohort of 50-64 year olds: results from the Health and Employment After Fifty (HEAF) study”.

Research Assistant position at University of Aberdeen

We are pleased to advertise a full-time Research Assistant position within the Epidemiology Group at the University of Aberdeen. The successful candidate will work across the Aberdeen projects within the Arthritis Research UK/MRC Centre for Musculoskeletal Health and Work.

Closing Date: 17th October 2017

Full details and how to apply at:

‘Arthritis Today’ features our HEAF study

Just out, Arthritis Research UK’s publication – ‘Arthritis Today’ – Summer 2017, features an article on our HEAF study with the title “Can we really work for longer?” [link]


Our second early career research training event

We are looking forward to welcoming our PhD students and post-doctoral researchers to their second training day, to be held in Southampton on Thursday 15th June 2017.

UPDATE: We had another very useful day on 15th June, with the students updating us on their progress to date and all rating the day as either good or very good. Lots of useful feedback and suggestions for our next training event.

It was great to get everyone together – thank you all for coming and for all your hard work!

WorkLife blog on the HEAF study

Published on 8th May 2017 – a great piece of online publicity for some of the results from our Health and Employment After Fifty (HEAF) study “Could frailty screening help extend our working lives?”

This is based on our recently published paper “Frailty, prefrailty and employment outcomes in Health and Employment After Fifty (HEAF) Study.

New PhD studentships at Lancaster University

We are pleased to announce opportunities to study for a PhD on work and health at the Division of Health Research at Lancaster University. These PhD research projects seek to improve work outcomes for people with long-term health conditions and disabilities. Awards are available for UK/EU students for a maximum of three years full-time study and cover university fees and a Doctoral Stipend (2017-2018: £14,553). The deadline for applications is 3rd April 2017. Please contact Paula Holland or Naomi Fisher to discuss your application.

Understanding how GPs see their role and capacity to use social prescribing to improve work outcomes for patients with long-term health conditions.
Informal inquiries to Paula Holland
More details are here

Making workplace adjustments for employees who experience mental health problems: An implementation research approach to understanding the influences and barriers experienced by line-managers.
Informal inquiries to Naomi Fisher
More details are here