New clinics introduced as service expands into community
12 January 2010
Patients with joint disease and other rheumatology problems can now choose where to go to access specialist care after West Suffolk Hospital rolled out a series of clinics within the community.
Extra rheumatology clinics will be held in Sudbury and Newmarket, while new clinics will be introduced in Thetford and Botesdale. Beginning this month, the clinics will all be run by a consultant and specialist nurse from the hospital.
The extension of the service has been made possible following the appointment of an additional consultant, Nilay Joshi, which takes the total number of consultants at the hospital to three. Sue Skingle, an experienced specialist rheumatology nurse, has also joined the team.
David O’Reilly, consultant rhematologist at West Suffolk Hospital, said: “We are committed to making it as easy as possible for people to access the care we provide, and hope that these important new clinics will help us do just that.
“In early rheumatoid arthritis, rapid treatment now can bring early remission and complete avoidance of damage and disability. Patients with new symptoms suspicious of joint inflammation should see their GP as our early arthritis service can offer rapid access for such patients.
“Our local GP colleagues have easy to use referral guidelines for such situations and can refer straight away. The early arthritis service can offer appointments within two weeks or sooner if necessary. Patients can choose which clinic to attend and will receive a full service at the location of their choice.
“We hope that this expansion of our service will bring huge benefits to patients by reducing the distance they need to travel for treatment while keeping waiting times to a minimum.”
Following a referral by their GP, new patients will be able to arrange an appointment at the most convenient clinic through the choose and book system. Patients who already attend West Suffolk Hospital can change the location of their appointments by ringing the appointments office on 01284 713713