Rheumatoid Arthritis Audit: operational note on publication and data collection

Published: 29 Sep 2015

This operational note provides information for hospital staff on patient recruitment, data collection and report publication for The National Audit of Rheumatoid Arthritis which is commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) on behalf of NHS England and the Welsh Government.

The current contract for the National Audit of Rheumatoid Arthritis will end on the 30 April 2016.

However, the audit remains a priority and there will follow an intended period of consolidation and refinement of the audit processes. This is to ensure that this valued audit continues to meet the needs of clinicians and can continue to help drive improvement in service and care delivery, as well as outcomes for patients with rheumatoid arthritis and their families.

Following this pause, the next phase of the audit will be re-commissioned for a recommended three-year period. The British Society of Rheumatology is fully committed to working with HQIP and NHS England during this period to support the further development of the specification for this audit.

Below are FAQs, next steps table and contacts.

About the National Audit of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The audit’s aims are to improve the quality of care received by people with early inflammatory and rheumatoid arthritis. Since inception in 2013, the British Society for Rheumatology,Northgate Public Services and the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit have worked hard to engage patients and clinicians to deliver this work. The forthcoming annual report will provide valuable insight into an area that previously had little national data.

When does the first annual report publish?

The first report, containing data on patients recruited up to Friday 30 January 2015, will publish in December 2015.

What should Trusts and Health Boards do now?

The table below shows three key dates that Trusts and Health Boards need to be aware of.



Recruiting new patients  
Friday October 30 2015 Trusts and Health Boards should continue to recruit patients who are seen in a rheumatology clinic for the first time up to and including this date
Friday 27 November 2015 The deadline for uploading data relating to patients recruited up to and on 30 October
Final data entry  
Friday 29 January 2016 This is the last date for data entry relating to patient follow-up

Should Trusts and Health Boards collect data after 29 January 2016?

No. Data collection stops from this date until the next phase of the audit begins. We will ensure you are regularly updated on developments with the audit and notified when data collection resumes.

What will happen to data for patients already recruited to the study?

The data for patients recruited between 1 February 2015 and 30 October 2015 will be analysed as part of the second annual report, scheduled for publication in summer 2016.

Audit contacts and further information

Clinical queries: please contact Ali Rivett via [email protected] for clinical issues relating to the audit.

IT queries: please contact the Northgate Public Services helpdesk on 08450 705 900 or via [email protected].

Contract and programme management queries: please contact HQIP associate director Kirsten Windfuhr via [email protected]

Thank you for your continued support of the National Audit of Rheumatoid Arthritis.