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.
Second clinical annual report
The second annual report analyses data on 5,002 patients, who were recruited between 1 February and 30 October 2015. The report provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of rheumatology services to date, with national and regional benchmarking available for 124 (88%) of providers. The key findings include:
- 68% of patients were treated with disease modifying drugs within 6 weeks of referral (NICE Quality Standard 3), up from 53% in year 1; there was a strong correlation between nurse staffing levels and timely initiation of treatment.
- The national findings continued to disguise considerable variation at a local level. Compliance with NICE Quality Standard 2 (the ability to see patients within 3 weeks of referral) for example ranged from 47% in London to 22% in Wales.
Recommendations include the need to understand variation in performance, facilitated by peer support and dissemination of best practice, with a view to developing plans for service improvement: