Reducing variation in care for people with rheumatoid arthritis

Disease - Rheumatoid arthritis

Lead applicant - Dr James Galloway

Organisation - King's College London

Type of grant - Health Services Research

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £105,562.53

Start date - 1 April 2018

Reference - 21824

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

The national clinical audit into early inflammatory arthritis recently looked at how well hospitals across the country are able to manage newly diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis. It was found that there is a wide variation in quality of care. This research project aims to understand why there is a variation in care quality and treatment success between different rheumatology departments.

Why is this research important?

Results from the national clinical audit into early inflammatory arthritis showed that there is wide variation in quality of care across England and Wales. This means that people with arthritis are likely to have more severe symptoms if they received treatment in trusts that did not meet national guidelines. It is essential to find out why this variation in care exists in order to make sure that rheumatology services across the UK are of consistent high quality.

The researchers will do this by analysing the existing national clinical audit data to see which people with arthritis get better outcomes, and what factors make this vary between different hospitals. The researchers will also interview members of staff in some of the highest and lowest performing departments. This will allow them to better understand the difficulties and what can be done to help provide higher quality care.

How will the findings benefit patients?

The ultimate goal of this research is to reduce variation in the care that people receive when they are diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. It is important that everyone receives the same level of high quality care, regardless of where they live. Identifying the factors that lead to variation in care will allow doctors to provide more people with inflammatory arthritis with a quick diagnosis, as well as increase the quality of their treatment and care. There is therefore potential to improve the symptoms, quality of life and long-term health of people with rheumatoid arthritis.