We are coming to the end of what has been I think the busiest year ever for NRAS and I think I speak for the whole team when I say we are looking forward to the Christmas break and being able to re-charge batteries, catch up on sleep and have a rest from emails for a while! I love Christmas, but what I hate is the stress that automatically comes with it!
I was up till 1.45 am this morning, chanting Bah Humbug, desperately trying to finish Christmas cards so that they have a chance of being delivered before Christmas. I have probably failed completely for the overseas cards and my brother and family definitely won’t get their presies till New Year! I have a cousin who usually has all her cards and presents done and dusted by the end of October which I just don’t seem to be able to get near to, however much I might aspire to it!
However, when I look back, we have made huge progress this year on many fronts and in the midst of the most massive re-organisation of the NHS since its inception. Next year, at some point – probably towards the end of the year - we will see a major national audit on early RA which all rheumatology units will have to complete about their service and this is most welcome as it will help to drive wider implementation of the NICE RA Guidelines which we shall all be happy about. The Quality Standard in RA will be published in June/July which GP commissioners will be using to bench mark the quality of services being provided. Watch out for the public consultation in January – we will be flagging this on our website. And, in addition, in 2013/14 RA indicators will be introduced to the GP Quality Outcomes Framework which should help to drive shared care with GPs. We are very much involved in piloting a Patient Reported Experience Measure for use by rheumatology units in RA and the pilots will start giving these questionnaires out in clinic from January so if you attend a unit which is part of the pilot scheme, you may well be asked to fill out a survey to feedback, anonymously, about your experience of care in that unit. A chance for the patient voice to be heard!
The NRAS team will be back in the office on the 2nd ready to help you in any way we can in 2013. I’m going into hospital for a right knee replacement on the 28th December by which time after the Christmas celebrations with family, I shall be ready for a rest!!
On behalf of everyone at NRAS, may I wish you and yours a very Happy Christmas and all you would wish for yourself in 2013. Thank you for supporting NRAS in 2012 by contributing to our social media and blogging sites, we look forward to hearing from you all in 2013!