We deliver world class services for patients with complex autoimmune, autoinflammatory and multi-inflammatory conditions.
Our rheumatology and scleroderma teams are national providers for adult-onset Still’s disease, primary Raynaud’s, digital ulcers, sarcoidosis and scleroderma.
The teams work closely with rheumatology services, GPs, and other healthcare professionals across the UK, providing prompt diagnosis and management of a wide spectrum of rheumatic diseases.
They also help leading patient support charities to inform patients and others about the conditions treated and their medications.
The Royal Free London is a provider of undergraduate and postgraduate training and in rheumatology and scleroderma, you may meet some of our aspiring trainees when you come to your appointment.
Cross-specialty work is carried out with colleagues from teams including cardiology, dermatology, general intensive medicine, nephrology (kidney team), neurology, elderly medicine, pulmonary arterial hypertension, and respiratory.
The service is also refreshing some of its clinical pathways and services to better enhance patient safety and experience.
You may be contacted by post or text message asking for your feedback about the service.
New patient appointments
Tel: 020 3758 2042 and select option 1
Clinical pathway administrator
Tel: 020 3758 2042 and select option 2, then option 1 or 2
Scleroderma pathway manager
Tel: 020 3758 2042 and select option 2, then option 3
PITU intravenous infusions
Tel: 020 3758 2042 and select option 3
Scleroderma patient navigator
Tel: 020 3758 2042 and select option 4
Clinical advice line
Tel: 020 3758 2042 and select option 6, then option 1
Repeat prescriptions and blood monitoring
Tel: 020 3758 2042 and select option 6, then option 2
Biologics, homecare prescriptions and blood monitoring
Tel: 020 3758 2042 and select option 6, then option 3
Pulmonary arterial hypertension advice line
Tel: 020 7472 6354
Scleroderma patient expert
Tel: 020 7794 0500 ext 35131
Physiotherapy back pain team
Tel: 020 7830 2267 ext 35754
Axial spondyloarthritis clinic
Tel: 020 8216 4523
Our homecare partners
General rheumatology services
- adult inflammatory arthritis
- axial spondyloarthritis
- acute calcium pyrophosphate (CPP) or crystal arthritis (pseudogout)
- enteropathic arthritis
- enthesitis related arthritis
- gout and calcium crystal conditions
- juvenile idiopathic arthritis
- palindromic arthritis
- rheumatoid arthritis
- virtual biologics service
Autoimmune and multi-inflammatory conditions
- adult-onset Still’s disease (AOSD)
- Behçet's syndrome
- dermatomyositis and myositis
- giant cell arteritis (GCA)
- Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA)
- haemophagocytic lymphohisticytosis (HLH)
- polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)
- Sjögren’s syndrome
- systemic lupus erythematosus
- vasculitis (large and small vessel)
We offer a monthly adolescent rheumatology service. This is facilitated by consultant rheumatologists and consultant paediatricians.
The service is run within children’s services and has links to paediatric rheumatology at Great Ormond Street Hospital, adolescent rheumatology at University College Hospital, and our paediatric services, including orthopaedics, physiotherapy and dermatology.
We are proud to be members of the British Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology and the Barbara Ansell National network for Adolescent Rheumatology.
In our back pain clinic, our experienced advanced practitioner physiotherapists can help you deal with low back pain, sciatica, neck, and arm pain, as well as pain in the thoracic area of the spine.
Your appointment will begin with a detailed discussion of your pain, how the pain ‘behaves’, and how it affects your daily life. This is followed by a physical examination.
Further tests will be arranged if needed, and you will be given a diagnosis and clear explanation of the nature of the problem.
You are encouraged to ask questions to fully understand the problem, as understanding the nature of the pain is the first step in effectively managing it.
Onward management of your pain can be organised from the back pain clinic, including physiotherapy, exercise advice, epidural injections, and nerve root blocks as appropriate.
The back clinic works closely with our physiotherapy service , so that a cohesive care package can be provided.
Our psoriatic arthritis services are facilitated by a consultant rheumatologist who also runs a monthly combined clinic with a dermatology consultant.
The clinic treats patients with a spectrum of skin and joint symptoms and has close links with the psoriasis dermatology service.
The trust has a special interest in adopting a holistic approach to patient health and wellbeing, understanding the wider impact that psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and the effects its treatments have on a person with this condition.
We have good access and recruitment for international psoriatic arthritis clinical trials. This provides opportunities to access new biological therapies for psoriatic arthritis and associated conditions, such as axial spondylo-arthropathy or ankylosing spondylitis.
We provide a rapid access clinic with ultrasound imaging of the hands and wrists for patients suspected of early inflammatory arthritis who experience less than one year of symptoms, in particular for those with suspected rheumatoid arthritis.
We aim to see patients within three weeks of referral, with initiation of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) as appropriate within six weeks of referral.
There is prompt access to rheumatology clinical nurse specialist support, education and DMARD blood monitoring clinic follow-up.
We work hard to integrate treatment plans with GPs to facilitate safe local blood test monitoring, long-term patient access to DMARDs and reduced patient travel.
National Early Inflammatory Arthritis Audit
We are taking part in the British Society for Rheumatology National Early Inflammatory Arthritis (NEIA) Audit.
The early inflammatory arthritis service is for those patients who meet the criteria for early arthritis. The NEIA audit aims to improve the quality of care for people living with inflammatory arthritis, collecting information on all new patients over the age of 16 in specialist rheumatology departments in England and Wales.
The audit will be extended to patients with diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, axial spondyloarthropathy, and undifferentiated inflammatory arthritis.
Patients have access to patient education and safe ongoing blood monitoring whilst taking disease modifying DMARDs.
Once our patients are established on treatment, we then send a GP shared care agreement for blood monitoring and prescribing, so patients can obtain their regular medications and blood tests in the community. This helps to reduce the frequency of appointments and travel to the hospital.
Our trust is a tertiary referral centre for sarcoidosis.
Our service combines the expertise of consultant rheumatologists and respiratory consultants to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to diagnosis and management of this inflammatory disease.
We have prompt access to PET-CT scan, pulmonary function and extended respiratory services, echocardiogram, high resolution CT imaging, cardiac MRI and on-site hepatology, dermatology, ear, nose and throat, and neurology services for our patients.
We also look after patients with connective tissue disease such as scleroderma, vasculitis and other systemic inflammatory diseases in this clinic.
At Barnet Hospital and Edgware Community Hospital, we run a specialist axial spondyloarthritis service.
The team are part of the NASS (National Axial Spondyloarthritis Society) Aspiring to Excellence Programme, which is a national initiative focusing on quality and service improvement.
If you are given a diagnosis of axial spondyloarthritis, you will be invited to our virtual patient education group and then followed up by the rheumatology team.
Management of the condition may involve medication, but you will also have access to our specialist axial spondyloarthritis physiotherapy team.
The clinical trials team facilitate several trials across most of our conditions.
If you would like to take part in any of our studies or would like some additional information, please contact the clinical team:
Rheumatology clinical trials
This is a randomised active controlled, parallel group phase 3b/3 study of Baricitinib in patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
This is a phase three randomised double blind, placebo controlled, multicentre study to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of a medication called Obinutuzumab in patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.
The study investigating Tilmanocept administered intravenously in patients with rheumatoid arthritis synovial. This study will include imaging of hands and wrists followed by an ultrasound guided synovial (fluid) biopsy.
The study is phase 2/3 randomised double-blind placebo controlled, study investigating the tolerance, safety, and effectiveness of Efgartigimod PH20 drug in adults with active idiopathic inflammatory condition.
Is a multicentre study investigating the tolerance, safety and efficacy of a subcutaneous injection known as Anifrolumab, in patients with Polymyositis.
Is a randomised 24 week double blind, placebo controlled, multicentre Phase 3 study to assess the safety and effectiveness of Secukinumab compared to placebo in adults with rotator cuff tendinopathy.
British Society for Rheumatology Psoriatic Arthritis Register (BSR-PsA)
The study is an observational cohort study following patients with psoriatic arthritis starting biologic or targeted synthetic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs.
BILAG Biologics Prospective Cohort
This is an observational study following up patients with systemic lupus erythematosus started on biologic therapies.
British Society for Rheumatology Biologics Register for Rheumatoid Arthritis (BSRBR-RA)
This is an ongoing observational cohort study looking at long term effects of anti-TNF therapy in people living with rheumatoid arthritis.
Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA) and Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR)
This is a cross-sectional observational study finding genetic determinants of GCA and PMR susceptibility. A one off blood test sample is taken to investigate genetic analysis.
GPs can receive prompt advice and guidance for any rheumatology query from a rheumatology consultant, from Monday to Friday, via the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) - please include any relevant documents, such as letters or photographs, in messages. Tertiary referrals from other hospitals are also accepted.
A reply is guaranteed within three working days.
Appointments can be made following a referral from a GP and may be made through eRS, or as tertiary referrals from other hospitals.
Adolescent rheumatology service referrals
Referrals can be made directly by letter to both consultants via our rheumatology, or children’s services teams.
Scleroderma and Raynaud’s service referrals
Referrals should be made by UK rheumatology services in writing and sent to rf.
Psoriatic arthritis referrals
A referral to the psoriatic arthritis clinic can be made via a formal referral from your GP, eRS, the dermatology service or from within rheumatology.
Axial sondyloarthritis clinic referrals
The clinic accepts referrals from primary care clinicians including GPs, first contact practitioners, musculoskeletal triage services and hospital consultants.
Our highly skilled team, including a consultant rheumatologist and specialist physiotherapist, will assess, diagnose and treat this inflammatory pathology.