The first national clinical audit for rheumatoid arthritis

J. Firth, N. Snowden, J. Ledingham, A. Rivett, J. Galloway, E. M. Dennison, E. Macphie, Z. Ide, I. Rowe, N. Kandala, K. Jameson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The first national audit for rheumatoid and early inflammatory arthritis has benchmarked care for the first 3 months of follow-up activity from first presentation to a rheumatology service. Access to care, management of early rheumatoid arthritis and support for self care were measured against National Institute for Health and Care Excellence quality standards; impact of early arthritis and experience of care were measured using patient-reported outcome and experience measures. The results demonstrate delays in referral and accessing specialist care and the need for service improvement in treating to target, suppression of high levels of disease activity and support for self-care. Improvements in patient-reported outcomes within 3 months and high levels of overall satisfaction were reported but these results were affected by low response rates. This article presents a summary of the national data from the audit and discusses the implications for nursing practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-617
JournalBritish Journal of Nursing
Issue number11
Early online date9 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016


  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Quality standards
  • Audit
  • Nurse-led clinics
  • Self-care


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