Spondyloarthritis (SpA) is a term encompassing a wide spectrum of diseases including axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), enteropathic arthritis (eSpA), reactive SpA (reSpA), juvenile SpA (jSpA) and undifferentiated SpA (uSpA).
The last few decades have seen major advances in our understanding of SpA epidemiology, aetiology, pathology and presentation. A number of highly specialised laboratory and imaging techniques have been developed to better assess patients with SpA, both in terms of diagnosis, disease monitoring and predicting outcome. Perhaps most importantly of all, several biological agents and small-molecule therapies have been licenced to manage these historically difficult to treat conditions. Allied with these novel pharmacological therapies, there have been advances in physical and occupational therapies, to manage this complex multi-faceted group of diseases.
Patients are increasingly demanding uniform access to the expert care they deserve. Following the success of The East of England SpA Academy formed in 2017, The London (2019) and Scotland (2020) SpA Academies were established to raise clinical standards, promote multidisciplinary care, and generate research interest in spondyloarthritis. We hope to provide an overarching strategy to SpA learning, with central co-ordination to cover the wide breadth of topics relevant to practitioners managing SpA, and to avoid repetition of topics and presentations.
During 2021 we are establishing a UK wide Physiotherapy Academy and Midland region SpA Academy in addition to annual updates in the Esat of England, London and Scotland. Each day has a theme and will cover all topics pertinent to the care of patients with SpA : Presentation and care pathways; clinical assessment; Imaging and Case Studies; Pharmacological and non-pharmacological management. Due to Covid, these meetings will be virtual however we are hoping to re-establish face to events towards the end of the fear if this is considered safe. Continuous Professional Development (CPD) credits will be applied for retrospectively.
Please see the Events section of the website for further information.
Please register for upcoming events by using the ‘Events’ tab above.
Professor Karl Gaffney - MBBChBAO(Hons) FRCPI FRCP
Consultant Rheumatologist, Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital
Professor Karl Gaffney (MB, BCh, BAO Hons, FRCPI, FRCP) has been a Consultant Rheumatologist in Norwich since 1995 where he is service lead for axial
spondyloarthritis (including ankylosing spondylitis), adolescent rheumatology and osteoporosis. He is an Honorary Professor at Norwich Medical School, chair of the medical advisory board, National Axial Spondyloarthritis Society (www.nass.co.uk), founder member, treasurer and chair-elect of BRITSpA www.britspa.co.uk), chair of the British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) axial SpA Biologics Guidelines Committee, member of the National Early Inflammatory Arthritis Project Working Group, vice-chair of the BSR Heberden Committee, co-director and founder of the East of England and London Spondyloarthritis Academy (www.spaacademy.org), and an invited member of the Assessment of Spondyloarthritis International Society www.asas-group.org.
He has also represented the BSR and NASS at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) appraisal of biological therapies since 2007. He was Rheumatology Service Director from 2008 until 2016, Director of Postgraduate Education in Norwich between 1999 and 2005, and Director of Rheumatology Training, Eastern Deanery between 2001 and 2007.
With NASS he has co-developed primary and secondary care educational programmes for healthcare professionals. These initiatives have been awarded national and European awards for excellence in healthcare communication. He is leading the NASS National Gold Standard Delay to Diagnosis project, launched at the House of Commons in July 2020 www.nass.co.uk/get-involved/gold-standard. His current research interests include epidemiology, dose optimisation and extra-articular manifestations of axial SpA. He oversees a large clinical trials programme and collaborates with other national and international centres. He has published extensively and has been an invited speaker at national and international meetings.
Consultant Rheumatologist, Cambridge University Hospitals
Dr Deepak Jadon is a consultant rheumatologist, Director of the Rheumatology Research Unit, and lead for psoriatic arthritis (PsA) at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge.
Having grown up in Cardiff, he graduated from the University of Wales College of Medicine in 2003, and then undertook clinical training in rheumatology and general internal medicine in Bath and Bristol between 2007-2015. He completed his PhD thesis on ‘biomarkers of psoriatic arthritis phenotypes’ at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (Bath, UK) in 2015.
Deepak has particular expertise in the investigation and management of psoriatic arthritis (PsA), ankylosing spondylitis (AS), spondyloarthritis (SpA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). He is qualified in the use of musculoskeletal ultrasound.
Deepak is Director of the Rheumatology Research Unit at Cambridge University Hospitals NHSFT (Addenbrooke’s Hospital), where he leads a team of 5 research nurses, 3 rheumatology fellows, and 2 administrators. They are currently performing >20 clinical trials / studies of novel cutting-edge medications for the treatment of arthritis and other rheumatological diseases.
He is an Associate Principal Investigator in the Department of Medicine at the University of Cambridge. His research interests include genetic and serum biomarkers of PsA, AS and SpA, in particular those that predict prognosis.
Deepak is Theme Lead for E-learning at the University of Cambridge Clinical School, delivering high quality online learning to year 4-6 medical student.