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Axial SpA (AS) follow-up clinics are run on Monday and Tuesday by the Advanced Physiotherapy Practitioner (APP). The department are able to offer a consultant review in this appointment on the day depending on need, for example, a medication review
All consultants see suspected new inflammatory back pain or AS. Dr Agarwal is the named consultant lead for the service
The department are able to directly book all axial SpA (AS) patients into hydrotherapy appointments for flare management or newly diagnosed patients wanting to learn aqua rehabilitation exercises (with a average wait of 2-9 days -which is a weekly Thursday group)
The department also have direct booking from rheumatology into the ASK (axial SpA (AS) Know-How) Self-management workshop. This is a 2 hour self-management education and exercise group, designed for newly diagnosed axial SpA (AS) patients to support self-management. A single attendance is supported by a self-management handbook with emphasis on problem-solving and health behaviour. The aim of ASK is to provide a toolkit of self-management skills. The ASK self-management programme is part of the early diagnosis pathway for axial SpA (AS) patients and all refer to it
All axial SpA (AS) patients on biologics are seen in a CNS or APP lead 3 month clinic, 6 monthly and annually. Axial SpA (AS) patients who flare in between appointments have access to a telephone helpline and online telephone advice appointments booked through the rheumatology website. The average response time for the helpline is 24 hours. 95% of telephone appointments booked online are taken at the agreed time. Patients are provided with a contact card with a direct telephone number and email address to the rheumatology team
Axial SpA (AS) patients booked into the Advanced Physiotherapy Practitioners clinic receive a digital BASDAI as a link in a text message the week before their appointment. This enables the team to view BASDAI scores prior to the appointment and plan
Axial SpA (AS) patients at Guy’s have been involved in a trial of a new text remote monitoring project and a trial of skype/video appointments which began in November 2017
The rheumatologist with an interest in AS is Dr Sangita Agarwal