Help end the 8.5-year delay in the diagnosis of axial SpA (AS)
A new programme that aims to end the 8.5-year delay to diagnosis for people living with axial Spondyloarthritis (axial SpA) was launched on 15 July 2020.
Gold Standard Time to Diagnosis will set the world’s first Gold Standard to reduce the average time to diagnosis in axial SpA (AS) to just one year. The consultation process, which is phase one of the programme, was launched at the All-Party Parliamentary Group on axial Spondyloarthritis.
Currently 1 in 20 adults in the UK live with axial SpA (AS), a painful and progressive form of inflammatory arthritis.
The programme is led by the National Axial Spondyloarthritis Society (NASS) in partnership with Norfolk & Norwich NHS Foundation Trust and RUH Bath NHS Foundation Trust. It is funded by UCB, who has no editorial control.
The consultation sets out a pathway that tackles the four most common causes of a delay in diagnosis for axial SpA (AS):
- Lack of public awareness of the condition, meaning a person with persistent back pain simply thinks it is a sport or work-related injury or they have sprained their back in some other way. The programme will address this with public awareness campaigns and online tools to help people identify relevant symptoms.
- GPs and other primary care professionals not necessarily considering axial SpA (AS) as a differential diagnosis. The programme will address this by creating primary care clinical champions in axial SpA (AS) who will help their peers recognise the condition faster and make a referral to a rheumatologist.
- GPs recognising that someone has serious symptoms but not considering rheumatology as a referral pathway. The programme will look at ways to introduce a faster pathway for a direct referral to rheumatology.
- Rheumatologists and radiologists requiring further information on best imaging for the detection of axial SpA (AS). The programme will promote education, the promotion of imaging protocols and the take up of innovative virtual imaging services.
The Gold Standard will be launched in December 2020 and rolled out from 2021 onwards.
The consultation closes on 22 August 2020. If you would like to take part, please visit the NASS website NASS website.
About Gold Standard Time to Diagnosis
Gold Standard Time to Diagnosis is led by National Axial Spondyloarthritis Society (NASS) in partnership with Norfolk & Norwich NHS Foundation Trust and RUH Bath NHS Foundation Trust.
The programme is funded by UCB as sponsor of the project. UCB is a non-voting member of the project board and has no editorial control over the content or output of the programme.