In November 2018 the Joint Pain Advice (JPA) project at the Health Innovation Network (HIN) became one of 19 initiatives across the UK selected to receive funding from the Work and Health Challenge Fund. We were awarded funding to explore JPA in a workplace setting.


The JPA model of care is a safe and cost-effective alternative to GP consultations, offering personalised advice (e.g. on exercise and activity, diet and wellbeing) to patients by a trained facilitator. It focuses on supporting self-management for people with hip and/or knee osteoarthritis or low back pain. In 2018, the move to deliver JPA in the workplace aimed to ensure that people whose musculoskeletal (MSK) health conditions may have previously held them back in work or even caused them to drop out of employment, can benefit from the latest innovations and tailored support.

The Challenge Fund is a joint initiative between the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health and Social Care and has a focus on mental health and musculoskeletal conditions – some of the most common health conditions in the workplace.

MSK conditions are a costly and growing problem for the NHS. As highlighted in ‘The State of MSK Health 2019’ report by Versus Arthritis, people with MSK conditions are frequent users of primary, secondary, community based, and social services, the hospital costs of hip fracture alone are estimated at £1.1 billion per year in the UK. MSK conditions account for the third largest area of NHS programme spending at £4.7 billion in 2013-14 (NHS England, 2015).

JPA in the workplace is helping people to know more about and better self-manage their MSK conditions and is therefore, driving down costs to the NHS.

Source: Versus Arthritis