For Healthcare Professionals

For Healthcare Professionals

Welcome to the act on axial SpA website - providing resources to reduce time to diagnosis in axial SpA. Explore our pages below, developed by healthcare professionals across various specialties. Think we are missing something relevant to your discipline? Please reach out to the Gold Standard team: goldstandard@nass.co.uk

Want to find out more?

Read our first Act on axial SpA impact report

Interested in our work to drive down diagnostic delay. Then click the button below and download a copy of our first impact report.

The report details the key results from the programme in its first 16 months, detailing how NASS has built a burning platform for driving down the diagnosis time of axial SpA, influenced politicians and key decision makers and increased awareness of the condition among the general public and health care professionals. 

Help us build public awareness

Help us build public awareness

With a lack of public awareness of the condition, many people may not attribute their symptoms to axial SpA. We have created a selection of resources to help you raise awareness of axial SpA in your local healthcare setting and across your community. 

Identification and referral in primary care

Identification and referral in primary care

People with undiagnosed axial SpA usually first present with chronic lower back pain to their general practitioners or other non-rheumatology primary care providers. We have curated bespoke resources developed by GPs, physiotherapists, FCPs, osteopaths, chiropractors and rheumatologists to assist you in recognising and referring suspected axial SpA from primary care.

Identification in secondary care

Identification in secondary care

Evidence suggests that many opportunities to recognise and refer potential axial SpA in secondary care are being missed. Explore our resources developed by gastroenterologists, dermatologists and ophthalmologists, to help you recognise and internally refer suspected axial SpA from secondary care.

Diagnosis within rheumatology

Diagnosis within rheumatology

The diagnosis of axial SpA is complex, whereby individual symptoms or tests in isolation are insufficient to either diagnose or rule out axial SpA; rather a combination of axial SpA symptoms, physical examination, appropriate diagnostic tests and imaging should lead to diagnosis. 

Key Publications: public awareness

Key Publications: public awareness

With a lack of public awareness of the condition, many people may not attribute their symptoms to axial SpA.

We have curated some key publications that suggest a need to improve public awareness of axial SpA – to empower patients, reduce delay to diagnosis and ultimately improve long-term outcomes.

Key publications: Axial SpA in Primary Care

Here is where you will find out publications, papers of interest, research and articles that help in the recognition of axial SpA in Primary Care. 

If you have any suggestions of papers to be added here, please contact goldstandard@nass.co.uk

 

Key publications: Axial SpA in secondary care

Key publications: Axial SpA in secondary care

Here is where you will find out publications, papers of interest, research and articles that help in the recognition of axial SpA in Secondary Care. 

If you have any suggestions of papers to be added here, please contact goldstandard@nass.co.uk

 

Key Publications: Axial SpA in Rheumatology

Key Publications: Axial SpA in Rheumatology

Here is where you will find out publications, papers of interest, research and articles that help in the diagnosis of axial SpA once patients present to Rheumatology. 

If you have any suggestions of papers to be added here, please contact goldstandard@nass.co.uk

 

This is the place to go to find out more about our Champions in Primary Care Programme.

We are creating a cadre of clinical champions in primary care and community services whose work ensures that axial spondyloarthritis (axial SpA) is higher within the clinical reasoning of primary care professionals, so that patients who present with suspected axial SpA are identified at the first presentation and urgently referred to rheumatology.

Here we are building resources to help HCPs in improving diagnostic delay.

We will utilise best practice examples from our Aspiring to Excellence sites to give you ideas and examples to improve care in your service.

 

In this blog series, we dive deeper into some of the key research publications on delay to diagnosis in axial spondyloarthritis (axial SpA). The authors provide their unique perspective on the rationale and clinical implications of their work.

NASS Gold Standard Research

NASS Gold Standard Research

As part of our policy and campaigning work we have commissioned research to help build the burning platform and influencing policy makers and health care professionals as we target a social movement. A social movement which will ultimately catalyse driving down diagnostic delay.

ACT ON AXIAL SpA:

A Gold Standard time to diagnosis

The current time to diagnosis of axial SpA in the UK averages approximately 8.5 years from symptom onset. This delay is unacceptable and has serious consequences for the patient. Our act on axial SpA campaign sets out a roadmap for reducing the time from symptom onset to diagnosis to just one year. 

Symptoms starting slowly

Pain in the lower back

Improves with movement

Night time waking

Early onset (under 40)