Department of Health’s response to the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society’s (NASS’s) campaign about ankylosing spondylitis (AS)
The Government recognises the importance of early diagnosis and appropriate care and information for patients with AS. The Department welcomes the important contribution that NASS has made in raising awareness of the condition and in publishing its good practice guide Looking ahead.
Ministers also recognise that there is still widespread variation in the provision of NHS services for musculoskeletal conditions such as AS and agree that this is an issue that the NHS Commissioning Board will need to address to meet the Government’s expectations of improvement against all the outcomes in the NHS Outcomes Framework. The Board has already recognised the importance of musculoskeletal services and will shortly be advertising for a national clinical director to lead its work in this area.
Officials have made Dr Martin McShane, the clinical director in the NHS Commissioning Board responsible for improving the quality of life for people with long term conditions, aware of NASS’s concerns.
The Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance, of which NASS is a member, has been discussing with the Department a proposal to set up a project to determine how effective local musculoskeletal networks could operate and to develop guidance for clinical commissioning groups. Ministers believe that this is a very positive step and the Department wishes the project every success.
Last updated: 17 January 2013