Within West Suffolk Hospital, all AS patients are assessed within a general rheumatology clinic. Under the existing service, AS patients currently wait 5-6 weeks for an assessment and diagnosis however under the proposed AS clinic the aspiration is to see patients within 2-3 weeks.
It is believed that providing a dedicated AS service within the DGH setting with a multidisciplinary “one stop” will offer many benefits:
reducing the need for additional follow up appointments and outpatient burden
improve patient care in line with NICE guidelines
allow the Hospital Trust to manage accurately the resources required to run an effective service
The objectives of the project are as follows:
Provision of a dedicated clinical database to enable a clinical audit to assess formally the current level of AS patient care within the existing rheumatology service against NICE/National clinical guidelines.
Measure the success of the implementation of the new one stop model of care through change in Disease activity towards NICE/National guideline standards.
Support the training and development of the Trust Nurse and Physiotherapist employed to support the “one stop” AS service.
Develop a patient referral pathway into a new model of AS patient care.
To initiate and review existing and new patients on biological and non-biological therapy, ensuring patients are managed optimally in accordance with NICE/National guidelines.
Expected patient outcomes:
Entry of available AS patient data by AS nurse into the clinical database and analysis completed to benchmark current and new AS service provision against NICE clinical guidelines.
New referral patient pathway developed, implemented and clearly communicated to primary care streamlining patients into the new service.
Target aim of 100% of patients identified in the baseline audit in need of review invited to attend new dedicated AS service and ~75% attend service.
Poster, clinical paper written highlighting the benefit of a dedicated AS service within the DGH setting.
Adoption of the West Suffolk Hospital Trust dedicated AS clinic model in other UK DGH’s.