Quality Improvement: Driving improvements in axial SpA care

Quality Improvement: Driving improvements in axial SpA care

Here we are building resources to help HCPs in improving diagnositc 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.

Please reach out to the Gold Standard team: goldstandard@nass.co.uk


Aspiring to Excellence Teams Showcase Their Work

Aspiring to Excellence Teams Showcase Their Work

Since joining the Aspiring to Excellence programme in 2019 and 2021, the first two rounds of teams have been working hard on their projects, which are all tailored towards improving diagnosis, treatment and care for patients with axial SpA.

To celebrate their work to date, each team was asked to produce a poster showcasing their progress so far.

You can view each teams poster by clicking here.

Aspiring to Excellence: 1st Learning Report

On Friday 22 October 2021, NASS launched the first learning report to come from the Aspiring to Excellence programme. The document, titled Driving Improvements in axial SpA Services – Building Strong Foundations Through Aspiring to Excellence, reflects on the aims and outcomes to date of projects undertaken by the first round of teams to join the programme. 

Aspiring to Excellence is the first at-scale quality improvement initiative of its kind that focuses specifically on axial SpA. The programme is run by NASS in association with the NHS Transformation Unit.  

Salford Royal - IBP Pathway

Salford Royal - IBP Pathway

Salford Royal Hospital or Salford Care Organisation is part of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust. They are part of cohort 2 of the Aspiring to Excellence programme.

Salford created and implemented a Salford-wide IBP pathway, combined with awareness raising for FCPs and GPs. This pathway led to a pathway for rapid diagnosis including screening and access to diagnostic services. Salford audit and survey data has demonstrated they have delivered a lower delay to diagnosis when compared to other national averages.

Southampton - IBP e-referral and MRI protocol

Southampton - IBP e-referral and MRI protocol

University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust is one of the largest teaching hospitals within the UK, with a range of specialist services.

The rheumatology team at Southamption have introduced a new e-referral pathway for patients with suspected axial SpA for reeferral into a dedicated axial SpA clinic and also developed and implemented a new whole spine shortened MRI protocol with specialist MSK radiologist input.

Symptoms starting slowly

Pain in the lower back

Improves with movement

Night time waking

Early onset (under 40)