Across the South West, there has been a 18% increase in the use of biological therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Considerable variation exists in the use of these medicines and there is little or no understanding about prescription variations and even less knowledge about patient outcomes. While at the South West Academic Health Network, Paula led an investigation into the various scenarios in providing care for patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis, with an emphasis on understanding the impact of early intervention on the local health economy.
We worked in partnership with the Work Foundation to examine the extent of RA in the working population. The first phase of the programme focused on mapping existing service models in the region. This allowed us to identify how patient reported outcomes and experiences are recorded, how clinics are structured and what type of information is recorded.
We identified differing approaches to service delivery and biological initiation which translates as a significant challenge in providing patients with consistent early intervention and care.