The current delay to diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) stands at 8.5 years. NASS are committed to reducing this delay to diagnose. There are many factors impacting on this delay but an important issue is the recognition of AS in primary care and prompt referral on to rheumatology.
NASS have worked in partnership with the British Society for SpondyloArthritis (BRITSpA) to sponsor an eLearning course on ankylosing spondyloarthritis (axial spondyloarthritis) (AS) on the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) website. The course aims to educate GPs about AS. There are two parts to the course, the first part covers diagnosing AS and the second covers how AS should be managed.
It was authored by Dr Karl Gafffney, consultant rheumatologist at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and NASS trustee and Dr Daniel Murphy, who works both as a rheumatologist at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, and a GP in Honiton.
GPs and any other health professional can access the course free of charge by signing up on the RCGP website. We really hope this course will help health professionals understand more about AS and, over time, reduce the long delay to diagnosis.