Who are NRAS and HealthUnlocked?

For anyone who is new to our forum, or just confused about who NRAS are and who HealthUnlocked are, we thought the following post might be helpful:

The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) was founded in 2001, aiming to work for a better life for people with RA. The charity was set up by our CEO, Ailsa Bosworth, who has RA herself, and could see a need for a charity that specifically helped people with this type of arthritis.

From humble origins, working out of Ailsa’s living room, the charity has grown from strength to strength. We now have around 20 members of staff and we work to improve the lives of anyone affected by RA, which we do through various methods, including:

•Our helpline, available Mon-Fri, 9.30-4.30 on 0800 298 7650

•Our groups, which are listed here: nras.org.uk/groups

•Campaigning/raising awareness

•Offering information, through the NRAS website: nras.org.uk

In 2011, when our charity was 10 years old, we joined HealthUnlocked, an organisation who were looking to set up health forums for a range of healthcare conditions. The site is run by HealthUnlocked, but since the RA forum was set up, NRAS have moderated it. At times this means keeping the peace or reminding people to stick to forum guidelines, but we also aim to be there to give useful information and supportive comments to our many forum users, all of which we do to help create a safe, welcoming environment for people with RA to be able to share their experiences.

So, if you haven’t visited the NRAS website yet, please do, as we have a lot of useful information on there. You are also very welcome to call our helpline team or send them an email (helpline@nras.org.uk).

Kind regards


(Senior Information and Support Coordinator)

11 Replies

  • Very helpful and supportive through good times and bad.xxxx

  • I often wondered how it started. You all do a brilliant job-'and someone always helps if I ring for advice. Many thanks to you all xx

  • Amazing organisation wonderful wonderful staff - They were (and still are ) so very helpful when I was first diagnosed with RA 2/3 years ago xx

  • This is an amazing site!! I am extremely thankful for the vast knowledge I've gained and the wonderful support that is given. I want to thank you very much for welcoming people, like me, who live in a different country.

  • Thanks for doing that Victoria. I second Szannedales comment. HU is a special lifeline for expats, where cultural differences in language and practices can lead to little or no good communication and understanding between docs and patients.

    Also generally no matter where one lives, when some conditions in relation to different meds prescribed for different conditions, can sometimes counteract each other, making one or more conditions worse by onset of side effects. This is why sharing information and supporting each other is so invaluable.

  • What lovely comments. I'm so pleased to see that the forum is helping people in and outside of the UK. Pleased you found this post helpful as well. We had found that there is sometimes some confusion over who we (NRAS) are and who HU are, and people sometimes come to us saying they are members of NRAS when they are Members of our HU forum.

    This post will now appear in the 'pinned posts' section on the right hand side of the newsfeed, so that new Members will be able to see it too.

    Thank you for sharing your lovely comments and for keeping the forum active by posting and responding to posts and giving eachother support.

  • Hi Victoria,

    I have had RA for about 20 years, I have also wondered what the difference was between the two. I have just returned to live in Canada and whilst living in the UK I have been on the HU forum and found it very helpful. I haven't complained about the NHS either, all my medications have been paid for, here in Canada I have to pay for my medications, that is when I have been here for 3 months and get listed with a GP and a Rheumy. I hope that I will still be able to contact NRAS and HU now that I am no longer living in the UK.

    Thank you all for your help and advise. Sue

  • Hi Sue

    You are very welcome on the forum. NRAS are based in the UK, so our knowledge is of the UK health system, but many of the people who use the HU NRAS forum are based outside of the UK. It sometimes causes a little confusion when people answer assuming someone is UK-based and they're not, but of course people with RA have a lot in common wherever they're based, and we hope you still get a lot of support on the forum.

    Kind regards


  • Hi Victoria,

    Thank you for responding to my message, I very much appreciate that I can still use the HU NRSA website as I did find it to be very supportive and friendly.

    Kind regards,


  • Have you moved over there permanently Sue? I though you'd just gone over for an extended Christmas break! I knew you were wanting to move permanently but didn't realise you'd gone & done it? I hope you're settling well & of course we'll still talk to you lol! xx

  • Tried to respond last night but had connectivity problems.

    I send HAH up until a few months ago and found them very accommodating.They only delivered in my area on a Tuesday.On one occasion I needed an emergency delivery and they arranged it on a different day. If there was no one available at home to receive the meds theme would leave them with a neighbour.

    They would ring to check stocks a couple of weeks before delivery was due and ask if I needed anything like sharps bins etc .Then. I would get a txt to advise delivery due.

    I never had any problem with these people at all.

    Hope all goes well for you.



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