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About us

Introducing our hospital

The Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD), known locally as 'the Min', is a specialist hospital in the centre of Bath with an international reputation for research and expertise in rheumatology, chronic fatigue and pain management.  We also provide diagnostic, endoscopy and clinical measurement services. The hospital was acquired by our local actue hospital the Royal United Hospitals Bath in February 2015.

We provide patient-centred services, where each patient has the best support for their care and rehabilitation, and work as partners with patients and their carers to support them in the management of their condition.

With around 380 employees and 25 inpatient and day-case beds anyone is able to choose to come to our hospital for treatment regardless of where they live if clinical need suggests our services are the most appropriate.

The information below explains how we are organised, how we fit into the overall NHS structure and who some of our partner organisations are.

How we fit into the NHS structure

The NHS was set up in 1948 and is now the largest organisation in Europe. It is recognised as one of the best health services in the world by the World Health Organization.

The NHS is funded by the taxpayer and managed by the Department of Health, which sets overall policy on health issues. It is the responsibility of the Department of Health to provide health services to the general public through the NHS. More information about the NHS can be found on the Department of Health website.

Our hospital became a National Health Service trust in 1991 and an NHS foundation trust in 2005. On 1st February 2015 the RNHRD was acquired by the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust (RUH NHS FT) and the RUH NHS FT are responsible for the management of our hospital.

About NHS foundation trusts

NHS foundation trusts are not-for-profit, public benefit corporations. They provide and develop healthcare according to core NHS principles - free care, based on need and not ability to pay. They have greater freedoms to decide how their services are run, they can reinvest their surpluses to improve their services and they are accountable to the communities they serve through their members and councils of governors, who are elected by the members.

As as part of the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust we operate within the NHS and its standards and frameworks. As well as respecting and nurturing the sense of ownership felt by members and the local community, we are a national hospital, serving a wider community of patients extending across the whole of the UK. More information about foundation trusts can be found on the website of Monitor, the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts.

NHS constitution

The NHS constitution brings together, for the first time in one place, details of what staff, patients and the public can expect from the NHS, such as how patients can access health services, the quality of care you will receive, treatments and programmes available to you, confidentiality, information and your right to complain if things go wrong. More information about the NHS constitution can be found online.


Organisations with which we have a partnership relationship include:

Healthcare partners

As a national hospital, we provide healthcare to the population served by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across the country including Bath and North East Somerset CCG, Wiltshire CCG, Somerset CCG, and South Gloucestershire CCG, Bristol CCG, and NHS England Specialist Commissioning Group. The RNHRD also works with GP providers such as Assura Minerva, ambulance trusts and, local authorities such as Bath and North East Somerset Council and Wiltshire Council, social services and other key partners.

Some partnerships involve information sharing; where this is the case, information-sharing agreements are in place.

Academic partners

Foundation doctors and specialist trainees

Our trainee doctors come to us from Severn Deanery, which also oversees their education. The training programme director for rheumatology at the Severn Deanery is Dr Ashok Bhalla who is also a consultant in rheumatology and metabolic bone disease at our hospital.

We have long-established links with universities, including the University of the West of England, the University of Bath and the University of Bristol.

Clinical attachments and electives

We are recognised internationally for our high standards of treatment and have an active clinical attachment and elective programme to support the training and development of international doctors and medical students.

Voluntary and charitable organisations

We work with a number of voluntary and charitable organisations. These include the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society, the National Osteoporosis Society, Action for ME, Arthritis Care and Bath Institute for Rheumatic Disease.