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NASS announces the first six hospitals to join its Aspiring to Excellence programme

On 16th November, NASS celebrated the six winners of the first ever Aspiring to Excellence awards during a ceremony at the NASS Voices London event. The day was attended by over 100 people, all with an interest in axial spondyloarthritis (axial SpA) and marks the start of the multi-year programme.

Aspiring to Excellence is designed to encourage and recognise service improvement in axial SpA care and is the largest of its kind in the UK. It will see expert support given to selected rheumatology departments to help catalyse across-the-board improvements in the availability of services and quality of care available for axial SpA patients.

Aspiring to Excellence will become a focal point for the axial spondyloarthritis community. It will stimulate debate and encourage innovation, testing new approaches to reduce the time to diagnosis and deliver the strongest improvements in axial SpA outcomes. Over the next three years, the programme is set to become the largest axial SpA healthcare improvement programme anywhere in the world and we are incredibly excited by its potential.

NASS Chief Executive Dr Dale Webb


The six teams awarded a place on the programme:

  • Axial Spondyloarthritis Service team, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Sheffield Spondyloarthritis Team, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Axial Spondyloarthritis Service team, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust
  • Axial Spondyloarthritis Service team, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Leeds Spondyloarthritis Service, Chapel Allerton Hospital, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Spinal team, Fife Rheumatic Diseases Unit, NHS Fife


Representatives from the 6 winning teams, the programme sponsors, NASS and NHS Transformation Unit

Representatives from the 6 winning teams, the programme sponsors, NASS and NHS Transformation Unit

Click here To read more about the programme and the teams involved.

For further information about the programme please contact