The Rheumatology department provides both outpatient and inpatient care for patients presenting with rheumatic complaints with a particular emphasis on those with inflammatory disease and connective tissue disease, including vasculitis. 97% of our patients on active follow up have inflammatory diseases. Patients with simple soft tissue rheumatism should be referred to the interface service (OASIS), but if the history suggests an inflammatory component then these patients are best seen within the rheumatology department.
An urgent access/ early arthritis clinic runs on Monday mornings and nurse led early arthritis clinics aim to see patients more frequently until their disease is controlled. Combined specialist connective tissue clinics are held with our colleagues in respiratory medicine and with Professor Chris Denton specifically for patients with scleroderma (yearly). We also run clinics for injections only. Clinics run in Taunton, Bridgwater, Minehead and Chard.
Inpatient beds are on Sheppard Ward and we see many of our patients on the medical day unit. We also provide a capillaroscopy service and have polarizing microscopy to aid diagnosis in the acute crystal arthropathies (gout and pseudogout).
The Rheumatology department is based on the first floor of the Duchess building, near to the Chapel.
More general information on managing flares relating to inflammatory joint disease.
Advice Line: 01823 344093 (please leave a message including contact details).
You should only call the Advice Line if:
- you have a ‘flare-up’ of your condition that has not improved using self-help measures for at least a week
- you are experiencing side-effects which you feel may be caused by the medication prescribed for your arthritis
- you have concerns relating to your condition or treatment which cannot wait until your next rheumatology appointment
- your doctor or nurse specifically asked you report progress
If you have a homecare drug delivery query, please contact the delivery company e.g. Healthcare at Home or Lloyds Pharmacy Clinical Homecare in the first instance.
The advice line is not an emergency line. As it is operated by an answering machine, please do not leave any calls that require urgent action.
If you need urgent advice, or advice not related to your rheumatology condition, you should contact your GP, call 111 or attend your nearest Emergency Department.
When not to call:
- to change an appointment. Please call Appointment Enquiries: 01823 342650
- to obtain test results, unless specifically asked to do so at your last appointment
- to discuss anything not related to your rheumatological condition