We provide a rapid-access clinic with ultrasound imaging of the hands and wrists for patients suspected of early inflammatory arthritis (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, as per April 2013 British Society for Rheumatology and Department of Health best practice guidelines (designed to expedite diagnosis, patient education and management of early inflammatory arthritis).
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 inconvenience.
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