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Two thirds of rheumatology patients wait too long for assessment, audit finds

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 25 January 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i452
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

Two thirds of patients with early inflammatory arthritis are not seen by a specialist within the recommended three weeks of referral, says a national clinical audit of rheumatoid and early inflammatory arthritis in England and Wales.1

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) quality statement 2 (Assessment)2 says that patients with early inflammatory arthritis should be seen by rheumatology services for the first time within three weeks of referral. In London 55% of patients’ assessments meet this standard, but in the rest of the country this …

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