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Paediatric rheumatology

GIRFT’s paediatric rheumatology workstream involves data-driven peer review visits with all specialist paediatric rheumatology centres across England, exploring variation and improving care and outcomes for inflammatory and non-inflammatory paediatric rheumatology patients.

The two joint clinical leads, supported by clinical advisors,  aim to develop national pathways, share best practice, and extend support to centres facing challenges, with a particular focus on the variation in transition and transfer pathways for inflammatory conditions, as well as on workforce and operational efficiency.

Dr Gavin Cleary

Joint paediatric rheumatology clinical lead

Gavin is a paediatric rheumatologist at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, working with a multidisciplinary team that has successfully integrated a culture of research and continuous quality improvement into daily NHS practice.

Gavin has a strong interest in developing digital solutions to help improve the quality of data collected during clinical practice, and has successfully integrated patient reported outcome measures into the local electronic patient records. He is now working on similar solutions for a wider range of diseases.

Recognising the importance of data to inform improvement, he co-led work to develop the Capture JIA dataset with Dr McErlane, leading subsequently to the BSR/GIRFT funded national learning collaborative (JIA Learn) and the NCEPOD JIA study. This work has highlighted the added value of the national paediatric rheumatology clinical community working in partnership with patients, families, charity partners and other organisations to enable shared learning from multiple improvement projects.

Dr Flora McErlane

Joint paediatric rheumatology clinical lead

Flora is a paediatric rheumatology clinical lead at Newcastle Hospitals, working with a multidisciplinary team to deliver care to children and young people with rheumatological diagnoses living across the North-East and North Cumbria.

She has a longstanding interest in improving standards of care and outcomes across paediatric and adolescent rheumatology, leading a range of local and national research projects and developing a novel approach to whole team continuous improvement. Her work was awarded the 2023 Medical Sciences Doctoral Thesis Prize by Newcastle University.

Her early research led to the development of JIA Learn, a breakthrough series learning collaborative, led by Flora and Gavin Cleary, funded by the British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) in partnership with GIRFT. The programme has informed a widespread and growing enthusiasm for data-led quality improvement in paediatric rheumatology.

Find out more about GIRFT’s data-led approach and best practice resources: