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National Clinical Audit for rheumatoid and early inflammatory arthritis


The Rheumatoid and Early Inflammatory Arthritis Audit was commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) as part of the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcome Programme (NCAPOP) and carried out by the BSR, MRC and Northgate Public Services. The audit was intended to help clinicians improve their quality of care for patients, and facilitate negotiations with their employers and commissioners to improve services.

The audit examined the assessment and early secondary care management of all forms of peripheral joint early inflammatory arthritis in NHS secondary care settings in England and Wales. Detailed follow up and outcome data was collected, up to three months from recruitment, on the subgroup of patients presenting with rheumatoid pattern early inflammatory arthritis. The NICE Quality Standard and guidelines for the management of RA were the key standards assessed, along with the Best Practice Tariff. Data collection began in February 2014 and finished in January 2016.

Two annual reports, which provided robust benchmarking of rheumatology services for the first time, were published and can be accessed here.

HQIP plan to commission a new audit in 2017. This will build upon earlier data collected to quantify the impact of the first audit in more detail and provide an overview of standards of care at a time of substantial organisation changes within the NHS. Further details about the new audit will be published on this page.

For more information please contact Ali Rivett, the Director of Clinical Affairs, BSR at arivett@rheumatology.org.uk


Collection of Case studies from the National Clinical Audit


Following the publication of the second annual report in July 2016, BSR undertook an analysis to identify providers which had performed well in relation to NICE Quality Standard 33 and, specifically, each of the statements within the standard. These providers were contacted and asked to provide case studies to explain how they had achieved these results and confirmation that their clinical lead was happy to provide peer support to other units.

Download the collection of case studies from the National Clinical Audit for rheumatoid and early inflammatory arthritis which has been produced to highlight and share best practice between rheumatology services of those who took part in the National Clinical Audit. Case Studies and contact details were subsequently compiled from various providers within the 4 NHS regions and Wales.

  Collection of case studies from the National Clinical Audit for rheumatoid and early inflammatory arthritis