Knowledge * Excellence * Audits

Audits

National Clinical Audit for Rheumatoid and Early Inflammatory Arthritis

The audit was commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) and ran from 2014 to 2016.

It 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 on patients up to three months from recruitment.

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.

Two annual reports were published, which provided robust benchmarking of rheumatology services for the first time. 

Further details about the new audit will be published shortly.

 


Reports

Second clinical annual report

Analyses data from 5,002 patients, who were recruited between 1 February and 30 October 2015.

Posted on Friday, January 29, 2016

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Second patient annual report

Assess the early management of patients referred to rheumatology providers with suspected inflammatory arthritis.

Posted on Friday, January 29, 2016

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First clinical annual report

Analyses data on 6,354 patients, who were recruited to the audit between 1 February 2014 and 31 January 2015

Posted on Thursday, April 30, 2015

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First patient annual report

In depth look at patients over 16 years of age in England and Wales with suspected rheumatoid or other types of early inflammatory arthritis within the crucial first 3 months of referral to a specialist.

Posted on Thursday, April 30, 2015

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Case studies

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:

Second annual report presentation of key findings

Posted on Friday, July 14, 2017

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First annual report

The report analyses data on 6,354 patients, who were recruited to the audit between 1 February 2014 and 31 January 2015. The key findings and recommendations relate to access to services:

  • Only 17% of patients were referred by their GP to rheumatology within 3 days (NICE Quality Standard 1) and a quarter of patients waited more than 3 months to be referred. 
  • Only 38% of patients were seen in rheumatology within 3 weeks of referral (NICE Quality Standard 2), and 53% were treated with disease modifying drugs within 6 weeks (Quality Standard 3). 

First annual report presentation of key findings

Posted on Friday, July 14, 2017

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