Project Name: Scale and spread of the Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) ‘pop up’ tool among GP practices in the UK

Project Summary:

The purpose of the project is to improve the screening and time to diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis in general practice through the use of in-built clinical system tools, designed to prompt clinical intervention and further investigation for specific patients and support more consistent data entry during consultation (by use of a protocol and template). The target population includes patients aged under 45 years old who have had more than one consultation for chronic back pain in the last 12 months. The project will collect data on the use of the tool in five Health Economies and assess the useability of the tool that has previously been developed and tested in two GP practices.

Planned Milestones:

  • Development of web page promoting the AS scale and spread project to PRIMIS customers and key stakeholders
  • Development of unique project specific resource centre for the AS project
  • Development of online resources in support of the AS project
  • Improvements and updates to the existing tool (including the development of TPP SystmOne searches)
  • Development of project implementation package (for PCNs and other distinct groups of GP practices)
  • Implementation of the AS pop-up tool in up to 5 localities, including project management, training, support and the collection of qualitative and quantitative data
  • Final report.

Expected Benefits:

Patient Benefits:

When the pop-up is installed into the GP clinical information system it is anticipated that patient care will be improved through the optimizing of the current diagnostic and referral pathway to ensure patients with chronic inflammatory back pain are identified in primary care and assessed and referred as per NICE clinical guidelines. This may lead to a reduction in time to diagnosis and referral as well as improved patient outcomes.

NHS Benefits:

Improved infrastructure to capture inflammatory back pain and AS service data.

Increased awareness of the differentiators of AS to mechanical back pain within a primary care setting.

Providing a systematic way of identifying patients for appropriate referral to secondary care which may result in service efficiencies in the long-term.

GPs will learn to differentiate between mechanical and inflammatory back pain from the integration of the AS pop-up tool into the existing GP software systems, which is original in its approach in AS and has the potential to offer AS patients' significant benefits.

If implemented across an entire locality, this could result in more consistent care being achieved more rapidly, including the planning of GP education.

Optimised use of resources could result in improved health outcomes and time efficiencies.

Earlier diagnosis ensuring that treatment is commenced in a timely manner, potentially reducing future complications for patients and unnecessary spells in secondary care.

Novartis Benefits:

Novartis could be seen as a partner of choice by the Rheumatology clinical community by working jointly with the NHS and PRIMIS to improve AS patient care and diagnosis gaining valuable knowledge and insight.

The data and knowledge gathered from the project may be utilized to develop and inform future projects, including the further scale and spread of the AS pop up.

The outcomes of the project may support the development of a case study model which could be implemented in other appropriate GP practices helping to differentiate Novartis as an innovative pharmaceutical company.

Identification and referral of suitable patients with inflammatory back pain to appropriate secondary or specialist care in line with the NICE guideline could lead to some of those patients over time being eligible for a Novartis treatment.

Start Date & Duration: April 2022

UK | 425708 | March 2022