The clinical leads for the rheumatology workstream were appointed on 10th November 2017 and endorsed by the British Society for Rheumatology. You can read more about the appointment of clinical leads here.

You can contact the project manager for this workstream at [email protected]

The GIRFT national report on rheumatology has now been published

Click here to download or view the report

Click here to read an overview of the report and its recommendations.

We’ve also produced a short video with a summary of the report, including the key recommendations and opportunities for improvement

On 1st October 2021, Dr Lesley Kay and Dr Peter Lanyon hosted a webinar to look at the findings of the report. If you wish to view this webinar, please contact [email protected]


A tailored guide for implementing patient initiated follow-up (PIFU) in rheumatology is now available from the NHS England Outpatient Recovery and Transformation team in conjunction with GIRFT, helping to reduce outpatient appointments that may not be needed, supporting elective recovery.

Clinical Lead: Dr Lesley Kay

Consultant rheumatologist, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and former Chair of the British Society for Rheumatology Clinical Affairs Committee

Lesley Kay is a consultant rheumatologist in Newcastle upon Tyne. She trained in rheumatology and public health in the North East and Cambridge and has worked as clinical director for musculoskeletal services and clinical director for patient safety and quality. She is a former Chair of the British Society for Rheumatology’s Clinical Affairs Committee, vice-chair of the Northern Clinical Senate Council and is a GenerationQ Fellow with the Health Foundation.

“Data is key to improving the care provided by rheumatology departments. Our national arthritis audit is already proof of this concept, and I am certain that the new audit, launching in 2018, will be even more influential. Working with clinicians to identify local variation, and using GIRFT methodology to support improvements, is a major opportunity for rheumatology services and their patients.”

Clinical Lead: Dr Peter Lanyon

Consultant rheumatologist at Nottingham University Hospitals and past president of the British Society for Rheumatology

Peter Lanyon has been a consultant rheumatologist at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust for the last 18 years and is a past president of the British Society for Rheumatology.

After graduating from the University of Birmingham in 1986, he started his career in general practice; this provided an unique insight into the challenges of musculoskeletal disease and included research demonstrating unmet educational needs among doctors training in primary care.

Subsequently, he went on to train in rheumatology obtaining an MD from University of Nottingham for research into the genetics of osteoarthritis. After completing this training he undertook a fellowship in Clinical Immunology.

In 1999 he was appointed consultant rheumatologist at Nottingham University Hospitals. In addition to general rheumatology he has a particular interest in complex autoimmune rheumatic disease, integrating clinical research into service delivery.

He has experience of service leadership and redesign, and has previously led development of regional rheumatology audit and peer review within the East Midlands.

Between 2013 and 2016, he chaired the NHS England Specialised Rheumatology Clinical Reference Group, whose work championed the needs of people living with rare rheumatic diseases, delivered commissioning policies to enable access to high-cost treatments and established levers for delivery of care in regional networks.

From 2016 to 2019 he was president of the British Society for Rheumatology , whose mission is to support its multidisciplinary membership to deliver the best care, to improve the lives of children and adults with rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease.

“I’m looking forward to working with colleagues across the country to gain insight into how to improve outcomes and variations in care, with a view to developing national solutions that will work for all. The inclusion of rheumatology within the GIRFT programme marks an important phase in the ongoing development of our specialty.”

Former senior clinical advisor and report author: Professor Alex MacGregor

Alex MacGregor is consultant rheumatologist and professor of epidemiology at the University of East Anglia. He trained at Cambridge University, the Royal London and UCL Hospitals and, before moving to Norwich, was consultant and ARUK Senior Fellow at King’s College, London. He is a co-author of the GIRFT national report for rheumatology but is no longer with the programme.