Annual Newsletter 2012

by Louise Warburton
on 1st January 2012

Dear Member

2012 looks like being an exciting year for Rheumatology. Following on from sterling work from the Steering Committee and Adam Bajkowski in particular for lobbying Helen Lester, we are finally getting QOF indicators for Rheumatoid Arthritis.

The Process is at its consultation stage. The proposed indicators are;

12 The practice can produce a register of all patients aged 16 years and over with rheumatoid arthritis
13 The percentage of patients with rheumatoid arthritis in whom CRP or ESR has been recorded at least once in the preceding 15 months
14 The percentage of patients with rheumatoid arthritis aged 30-84 years who have had a cardiovascular risk assessment using a CVD risk assessment tool adjusted for RA in the preceding 15 months
15 The percentage of patients with rheumatoid arthritis who have had an assessment of fracture risk using a risk assessment tool adjusted for RA
16 The percentage of patients with rheumatoid arthritis who have had a face to face annual review in the preceding 15 months


The Consultation process is still open. Please follow the link above to view the full document. Here is your chance to make comments and perhaps help to develop what is an entirely new venture for QOF.

We are one step further forward in our mission to improve the lives of patients suffering from inflammatory arthritis.

The Primary Care Rheumatology Society needs YOU to be involved and send your opinions to NICE. Therefore, please renew your membership for 2012. The more members that we have, the louder our voice can be.

Membership - Free for GP Registrars and trainees.

We need your help in advertising the society; we need new blood!

We need to attract younger members to join and represent the views of younger doctors. Please tell your GP Registrars about the society. If you have a local GPVTS, please could you let Helen know of the course organiser’s details so that we can distribute membership details. We would also like to take part in the education of our GP Registrars and improve their knowledge of musculoskeletal disorders. Knowledge of GPVTS Trainers will help us to disseminate our educational material and facilitate local education sessions.

IF you think that you could help with educating your local colleagues, please let Helen know.

Presentations from PCR Conference 2011

Don’t forget that some of the presentations from York 2011 are on the website for downloading.


The PCR Website continues to undergo development; Alastair and Nic are trialing a new website and we hope to launch in the near future.

The PCR website is being re-built. The process following last year's AGM (2010) where it was agreed extensive changes were required turned-out to be more complicated than I had realized. The changes discussed indicated need for a complete overhaul and it became apparent that it would be cheaper to start again from scratch. A draft of the new website was available for members to look at over the conference and for a few days afterwards. We have also opened Facebook, Twitter + Flicker accounts under the PCR Society name. It is hoped, that these sites will allow us to build an online community presence for members and also allow a cost-effective sharing of photos and information - the latter via discussion groups on Facebook.

At this year’s AGM it was agreed that looking at trainee and student membership and access to the PCR would be sensible and over time this will be facilitated within the website along with an annual essay competition to advertise and attract new members to the society from the junior doctor body.

I am also working with Chris Deighton, Laura Guest (CEO of the BSR) and Christian Mallen and colleagues from Keele on developing a new resource which pulls together Primary and Secondary Care.

Our initial thoughts are for a combined website, or web-page on the BSR website and I have taken inspiration from the British Thoracic Society’s IMPRESS organisation, which produces guidelines and holds conferences to bring together Primary and Secondary Care in Respiratory Medicine. The BSR are generously helping with development of the web-site and we are in the process of drawing up a business case to take this forward.

Steering Committee Activity

Adam Bajkowski continues to represent us on the Clinical affairs Committee of the BSR and thanks to him for his time and input.

RCGP Conference

We have submitted a proposal for a fringe workshop at the RCGP Conference in Glasgow later this year. The workshop will be about joint injections and Graham Davenport has kindly offered to lend his joint injection models for this. Hopefully our proposal will be accepted and if you feel that you could help at the workshop please let Helen know.

NASS (the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society) Report ‘ Looking Ahead – Best Practice for the care of people with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)’.

This report seeks to address the fact that there is an average delay of 10 years between symptom onset and diagnosis, despite AS being a disease which affects 2 – 5 adults per 1,000 in the UK. This is largely due to a lack of provision made for recognising inflammatory back pain in primary care settings. In many cases a diagnosis of AS is only given once spinal symptoms have become chronic and disabling and irreversible spinal changes have begun. To address this report makes several recommendations to improve both the diagnosis and treatment of AS. You can read the full report here

None of us are getting any younger. Yesterday my husband uncovered a box of Medics Revue Programmes in the loft, from my time at Manchester. One Programme in particular took my eye as a certain Steve Longworth was a leading light and Louise (Galway) Warburton was playing in the band, on flute - The year was 1980!

Finally, may I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year.

Louise Warburton, President, PCR Society.

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