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RheumatologyClinical services

General services

In addition to specialist clinics, we run general rheumatology clinics. In these clinics we see a range of inflammatory arthritis, the most common of which is rheumatoid arthritis. We also see osteoarthritis, the commonest of all forms of arthritis, and a wide range of tendon and ligament problems.

The general rheumatology clinics include conditions such as shoulder pain, tennis and golfer’s elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia and many others. Each condition is dealt with on its own terms, and patients referred to the specialist clinics if appropriate.

Why choose us?

Our hospital has an established international reputation for our research and expertise in rheumatology. We have inpatient beds for patients who are severely affected and a highly specialised multidisciplinary team to provide holistic care.

What we offer

The last decade has seen a revolution in the care of rheumatoid arthritis and we now have a wide range of effective treatments. It is important to diagnose and treat this form of arthritis early so that damage to joints can be avoided. Intensive therapy delivered by a specialist medical and nursing team is provided when rheumatoid arthritis is first diagnosed and continues until the disease is brought under control. Most patients are reviewed every six months when the disease has been stabilised.

Joint injection clinic

A weekly injection clinic is available to which selected patients refer themselves. If one or two joints are painful and swollen, an injection of steroid and anaesthetic can help to settle the inflammation down rapidly. The clinic is on a Friday afternoon so that patients can rest over the weekend after the injection.

In the community:

We hold satellite general rheumatology clinics in community hospitals including Devizes, Malmesbury, Warminster, Frome, Chippenham and  Paulton.

How to access our service

We can accept referrals locally, regionally and nationally from consultants or GPs.  All GP referrals should be made via the e-Referral Service.  Most patients referred to us will be seen first in a general clinic before referral to a specialist clinic where appropriate.

Patients with a new diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis will usually be referred to specialist clinics where the initial intensive phase of therapy requiring monthly review is delivered.

Patients with a diagnosis of osteoarthritis will often be referred back to their GP for long-term care, though some will access the injection clinic on an as-needed basis.

Fibromyalgia patients will be assessed and where appropriate will be referred to the multidisciplinary Bath Outpatient Fibromyalgia Coping Skills Programme.

Other musculoskeletal disorders seen in the general clinics will be treated individually by the specialist medical team and referred to the specialist multidisciplinary team as needed.

For further information or referral advice please tel 01225 473 428.