NRAS HCP Survey

One of our core activities and goals is to work as closely as possible with Allied Health Professionals.

In Spring 2015, we undertook a survey of health professionals (to include anyone who comes into contact with RA patients such as pharmacists, GPs, community nurses) to find out what you think of the services we provide and what you would like us to do in the future.

So what did the NRAS Health Care Professional Members have to say?

NRAS exists for all within the Rheumatology World; patients, families, consultants, nurses, allied health professionals, commissioners and the public. With over 1000 NRAS Health Professional Members we wanted to know if the society is meeting your needs too. Thank you to all who took the time out of their busy schedules to complete the online survey. One thing that was immediately apparent from trying to reach all our wonderful NHS colleagues is that email addresses have changed or have not been shared with us so our first plea to all rheumatology health professionals is please email your up to date email address today to emma@nras.org.uk. You will be missing out on important information and opportunities for you and your patients if we are unable to contact you by email.

32% of respondents said they received the magazine into their departments rather than as an individual – if you would like to receive the magazine directly to you please just let us know as 96% of health care professionals told us they find the NRAS magazine ‘very’ or ‘somewhat useful’ to them as a health professional with 82% saying the magazine was ‘very useful for their patients’.

What health professionals find most useful in the NRAS magazine was clearly the update on research, drug advancements and treatment studies.

What would health professionals like to see more of in the magazine? 30% said more information about self management techniques e.g. joint protection, exercise, fatigue management. You can help us to provide more of this type information by show casing your work - do you have a good example of any work/research within your unit that you would make a good feature article for a future edition of the magazine? If yes please email enquiries@nras.org.uk

It was gratifying to learn that almost 72% of survey respondents said they use NRAS publications in their clinics and with the majority ordering online.

There is a clear demand for a publication on Fatigue again (the current one being only available as a download) and you will be pleased to know it is on our schedule of NRAS work for the near future. Many units were unaware of the “Newly Diagnosed” A5 packs that NRAS make available, these include the NRAS newly diagnosed booklet, NRAS helpline contact details, 10 Healthcare Essentials for RA and any local information as appropriate. If your unit would like a sample pack or would like to order in bulk just call 0845 458 3969 or email enquiries@nras.org.uk

It was interesting to realise how important it is that NRAS continue to supply these valuable information resources free of charge to hospitals as 53% respondents told us they have no patient education fund and a further 39% did not know if the rheumatology department had such a budget.  So how can NRAS continue to supply such vital information to those who need it? Only with ongoing support from YOU, every penny spent on publications, patient and health professionals’ resources etc. has to be raised by donations.

Ask yourself if your rheumatology team can take part in an NRAS fundraiser? We have something for everyone from skydiving to baking cakes. Recycling your old jewellery to swimming the channel! Every penny counts. 55% of respondents had never made a donation to NRAS – can you change that today?

48% of respondents were involved with an NRAS group which is fantastic and NRAS has already started a waiting list of other units wishing to establish an NRAS patient group in their area.

Finally some comments:

“Your work is excellent and supports our patients. I encourage my patients to join”

“NRAS is an amazing resource for both patients and practitioners...keep up the good work and the fantastic progress.”

“Thank you, you are doing a great job and have been of massive benefit to large numbers of our patients as they come to terms with this lifelong condition...thanks!”

“I feel that NRAS is a first rate organisation and an ideal partner in developing and delivering services for patients with inflammatory arthritis”