Rheumatology: what to expect

New patients

Rheumatology 01Clinic appointments are held in the Osprey Unit, on the third floor of the Hospital.

When planning your visit to the hospital, please allow plenty of time for possible blood tests, X-ray or scans.

Please see the New patients appointment information leaflet  for details about what to expect from your fist appointment.

Bring your reading glasses as you may have a number of important health questionnaires to complete before or after your appointment. 

Follow-up patients

Rheumatology 02

You will be reviewed according to your treatment and its requirements.

If you are taking DMARDS you will be reviewed on a regular basis by our Rheumatology specialist nurse practitioners.

You may find it helpful to bring a list of questions for your rheumatology practitioner or to keep notes on pain, flares or difficulties you have experienced between appointments.

Bring your reading glasses as you may have a number of important health questionnaires to complete before or after your appointment.

No More Just Sitting and Waiting

Rheumatology 04Every hospital visit is an opportunity for education, and we should like you to make the most of your time during each visit.

We encourage you to try various physical activities and learn more about your condition or how to improve your general health and lifestyle.

In addition to reading the education leaflets and wall displays, expect to try:

  • The Exercise Walkway
  • Sitting Exercises
  • Wii Fit balance exercises
  • Origami - to improve dexterity, memory and problem solving
  • Mindfulness Exercises

Physiotherapy and Exercise

Exercise is a key component of your treatment and general health.

We encourage you to exercise, rather than sit and wait for your hospital appointments, and have provided useful exercise leaflets and web links - please see Diet and Exercise.

We encourage you to help yourself as much as possible, but you may also need to be referred for physiotherapy.
Physiotherapy is often an important and successful way of treating rheumatological conditions.

Rheumatology 05It is an interactive process and relies upon your involvement to help you manage your condition.

Your physiotherapist will give you advice on how to help yourself.

Patients with newly diagnosed inflammatory arthritis are referred to our Progressive Resistance Exercise Class

This class is designed and run by specialist physiotherapists and is an essential part of your treatment.

Please see also the leaflet:  Physiotherapy and Rheumatology - What to Expect.

Coate Water Day Therapy Unit

You may require intravenous medication as part of your treatment.

This treatment is given by nurses on the Coate Water Day Therapy Unit, Level 3, Osprey Unit, at the Great Western Hospital.

The unit is open Monday-Friday 9.00am-5.00pm.

Conditions treated at the Coate Water Day Therapy Unit

The Rheumatology department shares access to the day therapy unit with haematology, oncology, gastrointestinal, neurology, respiratory, ophthalmology and endocrinology patients.

It is an ideal environment for patients requiring steroid infusions, bone health treatments, intravenous immunosuppressive agents including Cyclophosphamide and anti-TNF (tumour necrosis factor).

Minor salivary gland lip biopsies for the diagnosis of Sjögren's syndrome are also conducted here. 

Length of treatment

The length of each treatment varies depending on the procedure.

You may only need to stay for an hour or all day.

If you are here at lunchtime then a small lunch will be provided, but you can bring your own snacks and cold drinks in with you.

You may wish to bring a book, headphones or other quiet activity to do whilst you are receiving treatment.

Appointments

Patients who are booked into the Coate Water Unit will be sent an appointment letter with instructions on which samples or blood tests are required prior to your visit, and any other necessary information.

Before attending your next anti-TNF appointment please read the  Anti-TNF Injection checklist.

Treatments

Useful links and resources:

Anti-TNF therapy

Tociluzimab

Arthritis Research UK website: Tocilzumab
(www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/drugs/tocilizumab.aspx)

Abatacept

Arthritis Research UK website: Abatacept
(www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/drugs/abatacept.aspx)

Zolendronate

Arthritis Reasearch UK website: Bishosphonates
(www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/drugs/drugs-for-osteoporosis/what-drugs-are-used-to-treat-osteoporosis/bisphosphonates.aspx)

Cyclophosphamide

Arthritis Research UK website: Cyclophophamide
(www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/drugs/cyclophosphamide.aspx)

Rituximab

Arthritis Research UK website: Rituximab
(www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/drugs/rituximab.aspx)

Podiatry

Feet are often affected by rheumatoid conditions and require specialist care.

This means that part of your experience with the Rheumatology department may include visiting the Podiatrists in our team.

For information and advice on foot health, please see the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) website: Foot health (www.nras.org.uk/foot-health).

You may require splints, orthotics or inserts for your shoes to resolve problems with your feet.

These are products especially designed to reduce pain in your feet and provide extra support.

For a list of recommended foot products please see Foot Health Recommended Products.

 

 

Report a problem with this web page

Please contact us at webmaster@gwh.nhs.uk and we'll put it right.

Translate this page: