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Rheumatology (United Kingdom) ; 61(SUPPL 1):i23, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1868355


Background/Aims Patient initiated follow up (PIFU) is an initiative that allows patients to access follow-up when required by initiating their own appointments. The disruptive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has created significant capacity constraints on many services that were already experiencing pressures prior to the pandemic, piquing interest in PIFU as a sustainable model of care. The BSR has produced draft PIFU guidance to support rheumatology units to develop and deliver safe, robust and sustainable PIFU care models. We audited our PIFU pathway in line with the BSR's recommended standards to establish its safety and efficacy since its implementation in 2018. Methods This was a retrospective analysis of patients transferred to an active PIFU access plan within UHMBT between February 2018 and November 2019. Patients were identified by the informatics team from the active PIFU access plans. We captured data to include treatments used. The electronic case notes were reviewed to establish reasons for appointment triggers in those who contacted the service, analyse waiting times for clinical review further to making contact and assess subsequent outcomes. Data were entered and analysed in Microsoft Excel 2016. Results We had a total of 420 patients on PIFU. We audited 100 of these. 56 were female. Mean age was 63.4 years (24-96). The most common diagnosis was inflammatory arthritis (n=78). The majority of patients (n=53) were on a single disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD). 17 patients were on>1 DMARD and 5 patients were on prednisolone monotherapy, mean steroid dose 4.9mg daily. 25 patients were not on any treatment. Of those on DMARDS, 63% (44) were on methotrexate, either as monotherapy or in combination with other DMARDs. 68% (30) of those on methotrexate were on a dose of ≤15mg weekly. Of the 100 patients, 9 triggered a review within the follow up period. This was usually via the nurse helpline (n=7). Occasionally the GP triggered a review on behalf of the patient via the advice and guidance line (n=2). The most common reason for a trigger was a flare of inflammatory arthritis (n=7) and the remaining two appointments were due to side effects of DMARDs. Patients were contacted via nurse telephone call back within 48 hours of contacting the helpline (n=8). One patient required an urgent face-to-face consultant review and was seen within 7 days. After contacting the service, all nine patients were reverted to regular follow-up. Conclusion Our results confirmed a robust PIFU pathway with appropriate safety nets ensuring prompt access to clinician input when needed. The use of PIFU pathway did not compromise care or result in any worsening clinical outcomes. After validation at 2 years, the majority of our patients on this pathway were onwardly managed through the PIFU model.

Rheumatology (United Kingdom) ; 60(SUPPL 1):i22, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1266146


Background/AimsIn 2017 an audit and survey of giant-cell arteritis (GCA) services wereconducted across northwest England (reported previously). This resurvey in 2020, following publication of revised BSR guidance, soughtto identify what changes were made in the intervening period, andprovided the opportunity to assess the impact of COVID-19.MethodsRheumatologists from 16 hospitals in northwest England were invitedto complete a survey in July 2020. Questions focused on serviceprovision for GCA, including pathways, diagnostics and steroidprescription.ResultsResponses were received from 14/16 sites in 2017, and 15/16 in 2020.9/15 (60%) sites reported that the 2017 audit and survey promptedchanges to GCA services, with two (13%) stating that it clarified theneed for implementation of existing plans. Two sites had a GCApathway in 2017. Four of the seven sites who committed to introducingone have now done so, bringing the total in 2020 to six. Eight of thenine remaining sites plan to implement one, six with a specific datewithin six months. Six (40%) have completed additional local audit/QIsince 2017. Temporal artery (TA) ultrasound (US) is now available in anadditional four sites, bringing the total to 6/15 (40%) in 2020. Two sitesreported improvement in both time between first rheumatologyconsultation and TA biopsy, and time to receive results (now <7days for each task in 6/15 (40%)). Six additional sites reportedproviding leaflets on steroids routinely, bringing the total in 2020 to 12/15 (80%), versus 6/14 (43%) previously. Four sites (27%) now have adatabase of GCA patients (one in 2017). There was no major change insites having a standard protocol for steroid taper (n = 8 2017;n = 72020, 89% and 100% of whom respectively use BSR guidance), nor inthe number of patients routinely provided steroid cards (six in 2017;five in 2020). The three sites who do not report giving leaflets onsteroids routinely, all had a pathway. 8/15 (53%) reported COVID-19having an adverse effect upon services, including: reduced access todiagnostics (n = 7: TA US, biopsy, and PET-CT);delayed appointments(n = 4);delayed referrals (n = 3). The tertiary referral centre reported animprovement because access to tocilizumab was facilitated by arelaxation of rules by NHS England.ConclusionThe original audit and survey of current GCA practice in 2017highlighted areas for improvement for each site, and regionally. Sitescontributing to this re-survey report that the exercise stimulated themto improve their current care. The 2017 exercise showed a strongcorrelation between reported practice (survey) and actual practice(audit), leading us to have confidence that responses provided a truepicture of care. This work demonstrates the power of audit to driveimprovement, at a regional level.