Rheumatology

How we run our services

We run Outpatient clinics and a Rheumatology Day Unit five days a week. We operate as a multi-disciplinary team where consultants, doctors, specialist nurses and therapists work together with administrative staff to achieve the best possible outcomes.

We warmly welcome those patients who wish to be well-informed about their conditions and play a key role in their own care team.  Our department is actively involved in research into various areas of rheumatic conditions, and we have strong links with the University of East Anglia.

Our department is nationally recognised centre of excellence. We continually strive to improve the qualty of care and our outcomes that we offer.

What do we treat?

There are over 100 rheumatic diseases.  Some of the most commonly treated are as follows:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Reactive Arthitis
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome
  • Scleroderma
  • Polymyositis and Dermatomyositis
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • ANCA Associated Vasculitis
  • Giant Cell Arteritis
  • Polymyalgia Rheumatica
  • Behcet’s syndrome
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Crystal Arthritis

What might the treatment involve?

Most rheumatic diseases cannot be cured but effective treatment can allow sufferers to live pain-free and active lives. In most conditions, early diagnosis is paramount and assists significantly in long term reduction of debility and damage.

Treatments can be divided into definitive treatments and treatments for symptom relief. The definitive treatments for most rheumatic conditions involve modulating the immune system. Symptomatic relief is assisted by anti-inflammatory drugs and other kinds of pain relieving analgesics. Exercise, dietetics, orthotics (splints and other assistive devices) and education regarding the disease all have a complementary role in achieving better outcomes.

It is important that the doctor and the patient work together to develop a treatment schedule that helps each patient maintain or improve his or her lifestyle. It is not unusual for treatment plans to combine several difffering types of treatment depending on the condition and the patient.

For more answers to rheumatic questions, please visit our Rheumatology Frequently Asked Questions page.

Improving our services

There are over 10,000 consultations each year in Rheumatology for many different ailments. The department is constantly striving to improve our standards, introduce new treatments and new ways of working every month supported by our service managers.

Suggestions and criticisms from our patients and their relatives as to how we can improve our service are very welcome. Please approach a member of staff if there are any suggestions that you feel may improve your care or the care of others. We would be happy to discuss any suggestions, complaints, criticisms and compliments in our department clinical governance meeting.