Professor Keith Palmer OBE

Many congratulations to Professor Keith Palmer on the award of an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list released on Saturday 9th June 2018. This is well deserved recognition for all Keith’s work in occupational medicine and acknowledgement of his excellent leadership of the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council.

Well done Keith!!

New publication on carpal tunnel release

Congratulations to Lisa Newington for getting a paper from her PhD work accepted so swiftly in the Journal of Hand Surgery: European Volume.  The paper (currently in press) is entitled Return to work recommendations after carpal tunnel release: A survey of UK hand surgeons and hand therapists.

Well done Lisa!

A few photographs…

…from our annual scientific meeting in February.  Many thanks to those who presented their work, and to everyone who came and made it such a good day!

Congratulations to Cheryl Jones

Many congratulations to Cheryl Jones (Centre PhD student at the University of Manchester), who passed her PhD viva on Friday 23rd March.  Her thesis explored the economic impact of presenteeism.


PhD studentship at the University of Manchester

We are pleased to advertise a PhD studentship at the Arthritis Research UK Centre for Epidemiology, University of Manchester:

Assessing vocational readiness and employment in adolescents and young adults with chronic health conditions (including juvenile idiopathic arthritis).

Funded with an RCUK stipend, this is for a period of three years starting in September 2018.

For further details click here  – closing date Friday March 9th 2018.

Professor Keith Palmer retires…

…after over 22 years working at the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit.

We marked the occasion with a lovely afternoon tea party for all members of staff, and we were delighted to be joined at the last minute by two research collaborators who flew in specially from Denmark!

We all wish Keith a long and happy retirement – he’ll be much missed in the Centre.


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?”