Many patients with rheumatoid arthritis experience delays in getting care from a specialist.
Only 20% of patients who see a GP with suspected inflammatory arthritis are referred to a specialist within the target three days, an audit suggests.
The report, based on data from 5,000 patients in England and Wales, said awareness of the early symptoms of the condition must improve.
However, most patients said they were happy with the care they received.
In the UK, one million people suffer from inflammatory arthritis and 700,000 of those have rheumatoid arthritis.
The condition affects the joints, causing pain, stiffness and swelling. The hands and feet are often the first joints to be affected.
Those with a severe form of the condition may not be able to dress or bathe themselves, and some will have to stop working.
This is the second audit of rheumatology services across England and Wales by the British Society for Rheumatology.
Read Full Article: Arthritis patients experience referral delays, audit finds – BBC News
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