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The Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) Programme National Specialty Report, led by Peter Lanyon, Lesley Kay and Alex McGregor, provides the most comprehensive analysis of adult rheumatology services ever undertaken in England and will be instrumental in shaping the future of the specialty.

BSR supports the report findings and recommendations, which will help to improve the timeliness and quality of care for the most prevalent and high-impact conditions (such as inflammatory arthritis and rare autoimmune diseases), at a time when the NHS faces the challenge of recovering services and preparing for any future surges.

With rheumatology the first outpatient specialty in GIRFT’s programme, the report successfully brings together a unique dataset to provide evidence-based recommendations. This follows extensive engagement with and from rheumatology teams throughout the country, including the first ever 100% response rate to a GIRFT specialty survey.

The report also highlights many of the challenges faced by units, including rising demand for services, limited resources and an overstretched workforce. BSR is committed to addressing the many and varied workforce challenges on a UK-wide basis, in light of our report (Rheumatology workforce: a crisis in numbers), but we also plan to continue sharing best practice and supporting services as part of our efforts to address other recommendations in the report. This includes:

  • Publishing national referral criteria to support effective triage

  • Providing educational opportunities for the multidisciplinary team to develop their roles

  • Developing our ePROMs platform to enhance remote monitoring

  • Sharing best practice from the National Early Inflammatory Arthritis Audit (NEIAA)

Read the full GIRFT report