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Polymyalgia Rheumatica and Giant Cell Arteritis

Question for Department of Health

UIN HL5067, tabled on 23 February 2015

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the pilot clinical pathway in Southend to develop faster and more effective diagnosis of polymyalgia rheumatica and giant cell arteritis.

Answered on

6 March 2015

The National Institute for Heath and Care Excellence Clinical Knowledge Summary on Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA) sets out that the annual incidence of GCA in the United Kingdom is approximately 20 per 100,000 people, with total or partial vision loss affecting up to 20% of people. Numbers of patients diagnosed as suffering from GCA related sight loss in each of the last five years and its associated costs are not available.

No specific assessment has been made of the GCA clinical pathway used in Southend. However, the Government understands that Professor Bhaskar Dasgupta who developed the Southend clinical pathway, contributed to development of the Royal College of Physicians’ guideline on GCA, published in 2010. The guideline sets out best practice for clinicians in the prompt diagnosis and urgent management of GCA, helping to minimise GCA related vision loss.

Answered by

Department of Health and Social Care