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Rheumatology success in national audit

Dr L Daniels

Clinical Lead for Rheumatology Louise Daniels has shared a blog following our Rheumatology department's successful performance in the National Early Inflammatory Arthritis Audit (NEIAA). Louise has previously shared how "immensely proud" she was of the department's response to Covid-19. Dr L Daniels

I am proud to announce our successful performance in the NEIAA. This year’s audit covered the period May 2019 to May 2020. 

It looked in detail at what happened to patients over 16 years of age in England and Wales with suspected early inflammatory arthritis (EIA) when they were referred to a rheumatology service. The standard of care provided was assessed against seven National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) quality standards.

Patients who are suspected to have rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or EIA need to be referred to a rheumatology service and treated rapidly to suppress inflammation and minimise damage to their joints.

One of the highlights from our audit was the success of the Rheumatology department in rapidly reviewing patients in dedicated EIA clinics. 86% of referrals were seen within three weeks of referral - the national average was 48%. 

We were the 4th highest performer in England and Wales and the best trust in London for meeting this quality standard.

Another key area of success was in offering treatment with disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) to newly diagnosed RA patients within three months of the onset of symptoms. We achieved this with 86% of patients, compared to the national average of 64%. 

We were the 7th highest performer in England and Wales and again the highest performer in London.

Patients must consent to being part of the audit process - and we were the second top recruiter nationally – and, once again! -  the top recruiter in London. We recruited 1015 patients.

We are incredibly proud of all the members of our Rheumatology team who have worked hard to make this such a successful service.

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