The NEIA audit aims to improve the quality of care for people living with inflammatory arthritis, collecting information on all new patients over the age of 16 in specialist rheumatology departments in England and Wales.
2020 winner: Richard Driscoll Award for Patient and Public Involvement
Commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership as part of the National Clinical Audit Programme, the National Early Inflammatory Arthritis Audit is carried out by BSR with support from King's College London and Netsolving.
Each audit generates unit-level data across the UK, benchmarked to regional and national comparators against NICE Quality Standard 33 and other key metrics. It then measures how reconfiguration and staffing changes have changed practice and patient care from audit to audit.
Data is collected for patients with a diagnosis of rheumatoid or rheumatoid pattern arthritis at three time points across 12 months, assessing waiting times, time to treatment, clinical response to treatment, provision of education and patient-reported outcomes.
For patients with axial spondyloarthritis, data collected is the referral time and waiting time to first appointment, along with a few additional questions on diagnosis.
The audit has five regional champions, based on the NHS Regions and Wales, who work with units to address emerging issues and facilitate communication with the society.