Primary care is a key partner in the successful diagnosis and management of patients with inflammatory arthritis. Not only do general practitioners (GPs) have a critical role in the early and accurate diagnosis of patients with suspected inflammatory disease but also have expertise in the managing the physical and psychological comorbidity that is frequently associated with inflammatory arthritis.
This lecture will describe core ways in which high-quality primary care can improve access to rheumatologists for patients with inflammatory arthritis, highlighting the need to support diagnostic decision making and the importance of responsive care pathways to support clinicians and patients. Innovative chronic disease clinics will be described emphasising the need to carefully monitor patients in community settings, freeing time for rheumatologists to manage more complex patients. The lecture will conclude with suggestions for how primary and secondary care can better work together to enhance outcomes for patients.
Disclosure of Interest None declared