News and updates
News about our rheumatology services
Patient pathway co-ordinator
A patient pathway co-ordinator has recently been appointed for rheumatology. Kate Perry will aid in the smooth transition of your care while attending the rheumatology department.
Early arthritis clinics
Our Early Arthritis Clinic for patients with a possible new diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis has established clinics running at both the Lister and Hertford county sites. This enables patients to be seen by the rheumatology team for early diagnosis, education on Rheumatoid Arthritis, its treatment and monitoring. We have recently been able to secure an ultrasound scanner in our department to aid in detecting active inflammatory arthritis. You may access this at forthcoming appointments. Dr Wijeyekoon, Consultant Rheumatologist has lead on producing short videos from a patient’s experience of being diagnosed and treated for Rheumatoid Arthritis from an Early Arthritis prospective. You can watch these videos by clicking on the links below.
Rapid access appointments
Rapid access appointments are available at both the Lister and Hertford county sites. Sharon Pearson, Rheumatology nurse specialist runs nurse led clinics which enable patients requiring either a joint injection or an earlier review of their condition to be seen. Those patients who have been admitted to the Lister hospital can benefit from seeing Sharon Pearson during their admission.
Annual review clinics
The Annual Review service was set up for those with an inflammatory arthritis. This service enables patients to access a detailed assessment, which is nurse-led. Those with stable inflammatory arthritis will be offered alternate appointments between the Consultant Rheumatologist and the Rheumatology Nurse Practitioner. Our patients who develop problems while attending this clinic will be offered an earlier Consultant appointment as part of our rapid access appointment system.
Arriving for an appointment at the Lister
Dr Ellis, Consultant Rheumatologist has lead on developing a video on patient access to our rheumatology department. This short video was produced in order to improve our patient experience in accessing our department when attending for an appointment.
Medical day unit
Our medical day unit has an established base at the Lister hospital and is utilised by the Rheumatology team on a Wednesday in order to administer various rheumatological treatments. Some of our treatments are now administered by our medical day unit nursing team.
What our team has been up to…
Fidelma Gordon, Alex Greengrass and Sharon Pearson have received recognition from the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) for their dedication, professionalism and excellent care given and were honoured with a joint health care professional award at the Macmillan Room, House of Commons on the 3rd on November 2016. Nomination for this award was received from a patient who is an NRAS member. Our nurses were met at the awards ceremony by our local MP Stephen Mcpartland who invited them for a tour of Parliament. The award was presented by Prime Minister and NRAS Founding Patron, The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.
Dr Spencer Ellis recently was invited on behalf of the Rheumatology team at East and North Herts NHS Trust to speak at a national conference for general medicine.
A text book on ‘Training in Medicine’ released by oxford university press was published in 2016. Dr Spencer Ellis and a previous colleague Dr Jeffrey Lee were co-authors of a chapter within this international medical text book.
Dr Wijeyekoon is the co-author of the Rheumatology Chapter of the Oxford Desk Reference of Acute Medicine (2016). This is an internationally renowned medical text book which is used by doctors world-wide.
Dr Wijeyekoon has also published a number of medical case reports, the latest of which is titled ‘A Disabling iatrogenic disorder’, and was published in the British Medical Journal on-line, in June 2016.
Getting involved as a patient
The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) has supported our department in setting up a patient forum for those with an inflammatory arthritis. If you would like to share experiences, achievements and coping strategies with people of the same condition then contact Michelle Want rheumatology secretary on 01438 285399.
Our rheumatology team runs an education session for patients with a new diagnosis of an inflammatory arthritis and their families. These sessions are held twice yearly and have been very successful in the past. Those who have previously attended found the sessions to be informative. If you have been recently diagnosed with an inflammatory arthritis and would like further information about these sessions then contact Michelle Want rheumatology secretary on 01438 285399.
Keep checking back on the website, which will be evolving over the next few months. We hope to produce future video recordings of the talks from our patient education session that will actually be available to watch on line under the Information for Patients section, so stay tuned.