Claire Jeffries

Claire Jeffries


Introduction to Claire:

Claire works as Clinical Specialist for Hydrotherapy & Rheumatology in Solent NHS Trust. In her role Claire is part of the Primary Care MSK physiotherapy team working to provide hydrotherapy services. She also works in secondary care undertaking Axial SpA biologic and annual review clinics alongside her rheumatology nurse and consultant colleagues in Portsmouth Hospital University Trust. Claire has worked in the field of axial SpA and Rheumatology for over 20 years now and therefore has a wealth of clinical axial SpA experience blended with managerial experience for service delivery and development.

You may also recognise Claire as she is one of our current medical advisors and Trustees for NASS!

Why Claire wants to be a NASS champion:

Having had the privilege of working with axial SpA patients and their families for over 20 years now I have been able to help shape and develop the pathway of care that this patient group receive once they have received their diagnosis. Meeting so many patients along the way however has meant I have also heard many sad stories of long delays to diagnosis as patients tell me of their journeys through the healthcare system. Being a clinical champion in primary care I hope will allow me the platform to help support and develop clinicians in primary care to recognise axial SpA (including Ankylosing Spondylitis or AS) early and act on their clinical reasoning. With close links into the wonderful, and large, cohort of FCP’s that we have in our district I hope to work with them closely to support their understanding, assessment and appropriate timely referral of suspected axial SpA patients.

What Claire hopes to achieve from the programme:

“Through this QI programme I hope to support primary care clinicians in early identification of the axial SpA and also ensure streamlined, easily accessible, direct referral pathways though to rheumatology are in place. This hopefully overall will achieve a reduction in the delay to diagnosis for our local axial SpA patients but hopefully will also influence services across the UK as the clinical champions share their work and successes with other areas who may wish to replicate or adapt elements of our work for the benefit of their local patient population.”

Symptoms starting slowly

Pain in the lower back

Improves with movement

Night time waking

Early onset (under 40)