These frameworks are developed to support the training and clinical practice of different professional groups in rheumatology.

Our frameworks and the frameworks we endorse grow out of the collaborative efforts of members and non-members, specialists and generalists, patients and carers. Development is led by different professional groups and respond to identified learning needs.

Ultrasound framework

Over the last 20 years, point-of-care ultrasound has expanded amongst all medical specialities and many interventional procedures are now ultrasound-guided, with this now part of the general physician training curriculum.

Musculoskeletal (MSK) ultrasound in rheumatology has similarly flourished. Many health professionals in rheumatology practice ultrasound alongside clinical repertoire. The majority of underlying research in ultrasound use in rheumatology is in inflammatory arthritis (mainly rheumatoid) and vasculitides, (giant cell or temporal arteritis), in one-stop clinics or urgent care pathways.

Many non-radiologists and non-radiographers now undertake ultrasonography and running ultrasound clinics as part of their range of clinical skills. Although there is guidance from the Royal College of Radiologists, there has previously been no dedicated documentation of the role of ultrasound in rheumatology in the UK.

This framework was developed by the BSR Ultrasound Special Interest Group and agreed by our Clinical Affairs Committee. It outlines training and ongoing continuing professional development in this sub-specialty. It's for use in appraisals and setting personal development plans to enable rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals to receive the required level of support for their ultrasound practice.

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Rheumatology Specialist Nurses competency framework

This framework was developed by the Royal College of Nursing and endorsed by British Society for Rheumatology. It defines standards of care and provides a competency and role development framework for Rheumatology Specialist Nurses (RSN). 

It enables employers, employees and most importantly patients to have clarity about the role of the RSN and their ability to deliver high-quality, evidence-based care.

It provides clarity and guidance around the competency and abilities of those delivering care, and addresses the need for a clear training pathway for RSNs.

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MSK core capabilities framework

This framework is for first point-of-contact practitioners. It was commissioned by Health Education England and NHS England and is endorsed by British Society for Rheumatology.

The framework focuses on improvement of services, placing skilled MSK practitioners earlier in patient pathways in order to ensure expert diagnosis, prevention, supported self-management advice, early treatment and onwards referral, where needed, is available to anyone presenting with an MSK condition.

It meets the needs and wishes of people with MSK conditions, identified through focus groups.

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Physiotherapy capabilities framework

The Rheumatology Physiotherapy Capabilities Framework has been launched to provide a national framework for rheumatology physiotherapy.

Developed by leading rheumatology physiotherapists and endorsed by BSR and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, it's the first of its kind to provide evidence-based support for UK physiotherapists in rheumatology and musculoskeletal (MSK).

It aims to support service delivery, role development and commissioning.

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