The AS it is: Patient Voice & Patient Choice campaign launched on 2 November 2016 in the Houses of Parliament.
It aims to:
Promote the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Clinical Guidelines for Spondyloarthritis
Celebrate existing good practice by health care professionals
Promote written care plans
NASS believes proper implementation of the Guidelines will help to improve the current 8.5 year average delay to diagnosis for people with axial spondyloarthritis including ankylosing spondylitis (AS).
AS it is campaign
The AS it is campaign was launched in 2013 when NASS lobbied for the Secretary of State for Health to ask NICE to produce Clinical Guidelines for Spondyloarthritis. This was a successful campaign and the guidelines are due to be published in spring 2017. In subsequent years we have campaigned in the UK parliament for better access to physiotherapy, at the Welsh Assembly for better services around the country and in Scotland against the sweeping closure of hydrotherapy pools.
This campaign asked MPs to:
Make a pledge at the reception to contact their local CCGs and NHS Trusts in England, NHS Health Boards in Wales and Health & Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland upon the publication of the Clinical Guidelines for Spondyloarthritis to help secure their implementation.
Ask a parliamentary question for NASS, based on the campaign following the reception.
Write to the Secretary of State for Health asking for proper publicity, dissemination and implementation of the NICE Clinical Guidelines for Spondyloarthritis.
What NASS is doing to reduce the delay in diagnosis?
NASS has been working with partners to educate GPs, physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors since 2012.
In 2016 NASS formally launched our Back Pain Plus campaign
In 2017 we launched two new online training modules for GPs in conjunction with the Royal College of GPs on diagnosis and management of AS.
What NASS is doing to support care plans
NASS worked with other patient organisations in the musculoskeletal (MSK) community to produce a care plan for people with MSK conditions such as AS called ‘My Plan for Life with...’. ‘My Plan for Life with..’ is offered online as an editable PDF or in hard copy. NASS has advertised this online and in our Members’ newsletter, plus had hard copies available at our 2016 Members’ day. NASS continues to promote My Plan for Life at all of our events.