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NASS opens applications for Champions in Primary Care programme

7 February 2022

Today NASS has launched a programme to support a group of clinical champions in primary care and community services. They will work together with NASS to help us end diagnostic delay in axial spondyloarthritis (axial SpA).

In June 2021, NASS launched the ground-breaking Act on Axial SpA programme, to drive down diagnostic delay from 8.5 years and achieve a Gold Standard time to diagnosis of just one year. Critical to achieving timely diagnosis is the early identification of suspected axial SpA within primary care and community services, and urgent referral to rheumatology.

The programme is open to First Contact Practitioners, GPs, community MSK physiotherapists or other NHS primary and community services professionals. Those who are selected to join the two-year development programme will:

  • receive leadership development support, training in the theory and methods of quality improvement and assistance with identifying and implementing improvement projects which they will test and refine
  • work together in a national learning network to foster community-building, the exchange of ideas and good practice and act as catalysts for change.
  • co-create a body of knowledge, methods, tools and experience, and work to share their learning with primary and community services across the UK.

Those participating will benefit from enhanced leadership skills and greater confidence in undertaking service improvement work. They will develop their networking skills and enlarge their professional network. They will gain access to resources and expertise as well as create new resources for other healthcare professionals. We will seek CPD accreditation.

Commenting on the programme, Dr Dale Webb, CEO, NASS said:

“Time and again we hear from people living with the condition who say their axial spondyloarthritis was missed or misdiagnosed in primary care. We want to change that. Primary care and community services have a critically important role in identifying patients with suspected axial SpA and referring them directly to rheumatology.”

Those who are interested in applying can find more information here and should complete the application form .

For more information on the programme please contact or 


The Act on Axial SpA campaign is fully funded by UCB.