Our Rheumatology department brings together a large team of experienced consultants who are assisted by registrars, consultant nurse and clinical nurse specialists and further supported by clinic nurses and our administrative team, to deliver a comprehensive service to diagnose and treat a wide range of inflammatory joint and connective tissue conditions, commonly referred to as musculoskeletal or autoimmune conditions.
Fortunately, medical understanding of musculoskeletal and autoimmune conditions has increased in recent decades. Rheumatology are active in research and are taking part in numerous studies and clinical trials and patients are approached to take part in these studies if appropriate to their condition.
There are currently 8 experienced Rheumatology consultants many of whom have specialist interest in specific conditions. In addition to our general rheumatology service we provide:
• Early inflammatory arthritis pathway
• Giant Cell Arthritis pathway
• Connective tissue disease (CTD)
• Combined clinic with respiratory team
• Combined clinic with renal team
• Paediatric transition clinic (QMC campus)
• Advise line for long term patients
At your initial visit you will have your blood pressure and weight checked, you will also be asked to provide a urine sample, all of these tests help with your consultation. The doctor will obtain a clear history of your symptoms, current medication and your family medical history, and this visit may include a physical examination. This comprehensive assessment will inform if any further diagnostic tests are required the doctor will discuss your possible diagnosis and appropriate treatment options.
If a rheumatologic condition is diagnosed patients will have several follow-up appointment with the clinical nurse specialists who will support patients and provide education in the use of disease-modifying drugs (DMARD’s) and monitor their progress following management pathways which are designed individually to reduce the levels of inflammation as quickly as possible. Some patients progress to biologic drugs where appropriate.
Support is also provided via the telephone advice line and access occupational therapists and physiotherapists.
The Treatment Centre has advanced facilities in-house to support investigation and treatment of these conditions including.
- Diagnostic Imaging department for x-rays, CT, MRI and DEXA scans
- Blood tests and biopsy specimens
- Musculoskeletal ultrasound
- Infusion day care unit