PIF member the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) and Oxford Hospitals Trust have published the results of a UK-wide survey which took place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Accessing Care during the Pandemic captures the experiences of people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and adult juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) when accessing care virtually and in person.

It is hoped the report will give insight into patient needs as rheumatology and other disciplines of NHS outpatient care teams re-design services and patient pathways. 

Key findings

  • Those living in the South tended to report statistically better disease management than those from the North.
  • The majority of respondents did not feel they knew their condition well.
  • Those with self-reported higher disease activity were less complimentary of their care.
  • Responders who were more positive about their service tended to also report better outcome scores. 
  • Just over half of respondents had positive experiences of remote consultations.
  • The most common response to improve remote consultations was to change the priority to patient-focused concerns.

Need for patient education

The report highlights the importance of education beyond initial diagnosis.

Patients often have little subsequent formal education regarding their disease, medications, complications or comorbidities. 

The report says patient education and knowledgeable access to supported self-management resources is a 'critical barrier that needs to be bridged if we are to achieve genuinely better outcomes and a more patient-centred approach'. 

Download your copy via the NRAS website here.