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10 August 2022

More than Skin Deep report gets a Parliamentary launch

The event followed the report's publication in February 2022, and helped bring it to the attention of MPs and Peers.

On Tuesday 12th July 2022, the Psoriasis Association was delighted to attend the Parliamentary launch of the report, ‘More than Skin Deep: The Underlying Burdens of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis’ in Westminster. The in-person launch followed the publication of the report earlier in the year, and helped to raise awareness of its findings and recommendations amongst Parliamentarians.

What is the More than Skin Deep report?

More than Skin Deep report coverThe More than Skin Deep report was developed to highlight the challenges currently faced by people who are living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, and the importance of achieving improved outcomes now and in the future. It was initiated and funded by Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd, authored by Wilmington Healthcare, and informed by the input of an Expert Working Group, including leading clinicians from dermatology and rheumatology, as well as representatives from the Psoriasis Association and Versus Arthritis.

Using the latest available data, the report sets out new estimates of the number of people affected by psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis across the UK and examines the different ways in which both conditions can have a significant impact on quality of life. Reflecting on the current challenges of service delivery and the importance of achieving earlier diagnosis and more joined-up care, the report sets out recommendations that can help to meet these priorities, across five key areas:

  • Prioritising psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis as interlinked conditions
  • Optimising service planning
  • Empowering people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis
  • Supporting the workforce
  • Recognising the wider impacts of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis

The More than Skin Deep report is primarily aimed at policymakers (such as MPs and Peers), healthcare professionals and NHS commissioners.

What happened at the Parliamentary launch event?

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Following the report’s publication in February, and its initial promotion primarily through digital channels, it was felt that an in-person launch event was vital in order to encourage support from Parliamentarians. The event was held in the Houses of Parliament and hosted by Sir Paul Beresford, MP for Mole Valley and former Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Skin (APPGS), who has supported the report from its early stages.

Sir Paul opened the event, provided the rationale for the development of the report, and introduced the speakers: world-leading psoriasis expert, Professor Chris Griffiths; Jack Gaskin, who is living with both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis; and The Psoriasis Association’s Patient Advocacy and Communications Manager, Dominic Urmston.

First, Professor Griffiths provided a clinical perspective of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, explaining the various ways in which both conditions can affect quality of life, as well as the current ‘state of play’ in terms of service delivery for the care and management of both conditions. Next, Jack Gaskin spoke movingly about his own personal experiences of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, including the impact both conditions have had on his career, relationships and self-esteem. Finally, Dominic Urmston gave an overview of the recommendations of the report and stressed the importance of Parliamentarians’ meaningful engagement and support. The speeches were followed by a lively discussion from those present about the most pressing issues with current services, and an exchange of ideas for potential solutions.

We would like to express our gratitude to the 11 Parliamentarians who attended the event on the day. They were:

  • Sir Paul Beresford, Conservative MP for Mole Valley
  • Steven Bonnar, Scottish National Party MP for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill
  • Dr Lisa Cameron, Scottish National Party MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow
  • Dan Carden, Labour MP for Liverpool, Walton
  • Peter Dowd, Labour MP for Bootle
  • Patricia Gibson, Scottish National Party MP for North Ayrshire
  • Kirsten Oswald, Scottish National Party MP for East Renfrewshire
  • Baroness Redfern, Conservative Member of the House of Lords
  • Andy Slaughter, Labour MP for Hammersmith
  • Chris Stephens, Scottish National Party MP for Glasgow South West
  • Alison Thewliss, Scottish National Party MP for Glasgow Central

What next?

Following the discussion, Sir Paul Beresford resolved to follow up on the launch event with some of the other MPs who had attended on the day and shown their support for the report and its recommendations. Here at the Psoriasis Association, we will continue to promote the report, its findings and recommendations, and work with those Parliamentarians who attended the launch event to drive the needs and concerns of people who are living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis up the political agenda.

However, we need your help too. If you are experiencing a particular issue locally or nationally that you feel is having an impact on your psoriasis care and treatment, please do contact your local MP and make them aware. It is only by bringing these issues to MPs’ attention that we can hope to see them pushed higher up the priority list.

Where can I find the report?

Should you wish to read the More than Skin Deep report yourself or highlight it to your local MP, or even your GP, nurse or specialist, you can find it here.