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New 18-week arthritis commissioning pathway

The Rheumatology Futures Project and the Department of Health have launched a new 18-week commissioning pathway for inflammatory arthritis.
The pathway takes account of the recommendations of the recent King's Fund report, and will be a vital resource for commissioners of rheumatology services and clinicians considering service redesign as NHS organisations look to implement the NICE clinical guidelines on rheumatoid arthritis and the recommendations of the upcoming National Audit Office report.
The pathway has been developed with the help of many healthcare professionals drawn from all disciplines and patient and professional organisations working with the Department of Health.

The inflammatory arthritis commissioning pathway forms part of the package of more than 50 pathways, spanning a wide range of conditions and diseases, which have been developed as part of the Department of Health’s 18-week initiative.
The Rheumatology Futures Project, who commissioned the pivotal research by the King’s Fund, are now working next to add an innovative "patient pathway" layer to the commissioning pathway, which will outline what services a patient can expect to be provided with along a pathway of care. 

This approach will take into account the service needs and expectations of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis.
Susan Oliver, Chair of the RCN Rheumatology Group and Joint Chair of the Rheumatology Futures Group said: "The IA Commissioning Pathway identifies the core generic needs of inflammatory arthritis patients as well as the more detailed commissioning evidence required to ensure an effective pathway of care.

"The pathway also provides a comprehensive package to enable three key inflammatory arthritis conditions to benefit from high-calibre commissioning.”

National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society