In early December the initial cohort of the multi-year service improvement programme Aspiring to Excellence met for their first day of shared learning. The cohort, made up of members of the six teams awarded a place on the programme, began the process of planning for their department’s improvement aims.

The group will meet four times a year for three years and be given expert support to help catalyse across-the-board improvements in the availability of services and quality of care available for axial SpA patients. NASS will be sharing the progress as the teams continue to meet.

The six teams awarded a place on the programme are:

  • Axial Spondyloarthritis Service team, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Sheffield Spondyloarthritis Team, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Axial Spondyloarthritis Service team, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust
  • Axial Spondyloarthritis Service team, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Leeds Spondyloarthritis Service, Chapel Allerton Hospital, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Spinal team, Fife Rheumatic Diseases Unit, NHS Fife

One of the Aspiring to Excellence team members who attended on 3 December said: “All of this is new to me and seems like an excellent way of driving positive change.”

To read more about the programme and the teams involved, please visit the NASS website and for further information about the programme please contact

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