JIA Collaborative

08 April 2022

A patient-centred programme of quality improvement work across participating UK paediatric rheumatology centres.

The British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) have funded a two-year JIA Quality Improvement (QI) programme, working with clinical and academic paediatric rheumatology communities, patient/parent representatives, colleagues across BSR and an external provider called Rubis.QI 

The programme will be led by Dr Flora McErlane and Dr Gavin Cleary (one of our paediatric advisors), the Quality and Improvement Team at BSR and supported by the British Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology (BSPAR) Section Council.

The overarching aim of the programme is to improve patient reported experiences and outcomes of care for children and young people with JIA by end of January 2024. In addition, local teams will be provided with the education and training they need to continue leading local QI work after the project has finished. However the local voice of patients/families is vital to the success of this programme. 

A maximum of 6-8 teams across all 4 nations of the UK will be working on the project to train them in QI methodologies and to help them to identify and answer key QI questions locally. The questions will need to fit within our overarching aim but local teams can chose the specific area that they would like to focus on.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) are presently running several QI programmes across different paediatric specialties (e.g., diabetes and epilepsy). Examples of successful diabetes themes identified by centres include clinic experience, development of an ‘all about me’ template, communication, and transition. Lived experiences are a key theme for multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) and for families. RCPCH have a very successful children and young people engagement team that promotes involvement of local families from the outset. 

A similar approach in North America and Canada (the PR-COIN collaborative – https://www.pr-coin.org/) is already using local and aggregate clinical datasets to inform significant improvements in paediatric rheumatology clinical care. 

Local teams can apply from May onwards and they have to submit an application that has been agreed with the whole MDT and local patient/parent representatives. They will need to identify a lead applicant (any member of the MDT) and a local QI group (ideally to include MDT-wide representation and patients/families). An additional hope is that the collection and analysis of aggregate data will inform development of evidence-based quality standards and allow between-centre comparisons. 

This programme is being launched in April at the BSR Conference in Glasgow. You are welcome to get involved, click here and to attend there is no requirement to register for the main BSR conference. There will be a webinar after this in May for those who can’t attend (please keep an eye on our website and social media for more details)

Please ask your paediatric rheumatology team about it and if you are able please do get involved.