Employment Support in the NHS for Complex Long-Term Conditions
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease that can affect any part of the body. It’s often referred to as an ‘invisible’ disease with symptoms fluctuating through flares, relapses and remissions throughout life.
Backed by Lupus UK, Dr Sara Booth contacted the PLRH in January 2019 for support on a new research project investigating employment challenges for people with SLE and other invisible, fluctuating conditions. Lupus UK started this project with a national, online patient survey to identify employment challenges and development opportunities. You can read their report here. Dr Booth, both a patient and clinician herself, wanted to continue this work by exploring support networks and barriers experienced by NHS managers and staff. In 2020, we were awarded Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust funding for a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis. Although covid-19 delayed the start of our study, interviews are now complete and analysis is underway. Dr Booth sadly passed away in 2022, and Dr Jennifer Remnant (University of Strathclyde, Glasgow) has stepped in to lead the project.