What we are doing to support units:
- Streamlined the amount of data the audit collects and introduced a new, more user-friendly IT system
- Appointed 5 regional champions, based on the NHS Regions and Wales, to work with units to address emerging issues and facilitate communication with the society
- Writing to Trust CEOs and clinical leads to raise awareness about the audit, including the requirement to participate under the terms of the standard NHS contract, and ensure appropriate resources are put into place
- FAQs are continually updated within the audit tool and quarterly newsletters are available to all registered users.
All new patients over the age of 16 years presenting for the first time with suspected inflammatory arthritis should be recruited. Data collection for patients with a diagnosis of rheumatoid or rheumatoid pattern arthritis will be at three time points across 12 months, assessing waiting times; time to treatment; clinical response to treatment; provision of education and patient reported outcomes.
For patients with axial spondyloarthritis, data collected will be referral time and waiting time to first appointment.