Welcome to Ipswich Hospital
Our Passion, Your Care

Friday, 17 November 2017
Rheumatology
Main department telephone nos: Reception: 01473 703526
Advice line: 01473 703315
DEXA/Osteoporosis Advice line: 01473 702571
Nearest car park:
Nearest entrance:
Directions from entrance to department:
Car Park F. View car parking information.
Entrance 5
Enter hospital through Entrance 5; Rheumatology Reception is immediately to your left. View hospital map.
Overview: Rheumatology is a branch of medicine concerned with disorders of the skeleton and the soft tissues which support it, such as ligaments, tendons, muscles, synovium (joint lining)  and cartilage (gristle). Specialist rheumatology professionals deal with a wide range of rheumatological conditions, from simple soft tissue disorders such as tendonitis (inflammation of a tendon) through to complex diseases affecting more than one bodily system.  These  diseases may cause symptoms which are not necessarily confined to the musculoskeletal system. Therefore, although arthritis may be the condition most closely associated with this specialty, joint inflammation is only one of the many clinical features.
Specialities and procedures undertaken: Patients with a wide range of rheumatological, musculoskeletal and metabolic bone diseases are seen within the department by various members of the rheumatology team: this comprises consultant rheumatologists, specialist registrars, specialist nurse or physiotherapy practitioners and staff nurses. In addition to routine review appointments, the following services are also provided:
Monitoring clinic for subcutaneous treatments
Day unit for intravenous therapies
Advice line
Transition clinic for adolescents
Fracture liaison service
DXA (bone density) scanner
Ultrasound scanner
Joint protection advice/splinting
Research into rheumatological treatments 
Consultants: Dr R Watts, Consultant Rheumatologist: 01473 702362
Dr S Lane, Consultant Rheumatologist: 01473 702362
Dr A Weerakoon, Consultant Rheumatologist: 01473 702039
Dr L Shand, Consultant Rheumatologist: 01473 702039
Dr R Abdulkader, Consultant Rheumatologist: 01473 707324
Dr E Ntatsaki, Consultant Rheumatologist: 01473 707324
What to expect at your appointment: Please bring your appointment card and a list of all your current medications and dosages. If you have previously been given a drug monitoring booklet please bring this too. You should also bring a sample of urine for routine testing. It may also be helpful to write down any specific concerns which you wish to discuss. 
Each time you attend a rheumatology clinic appointment at The Ipswich Hospital you will be booked in by a health care assistant (HCA) who will weigh you, check your height, body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure and test your urine sample. You may also be asked to complete a brief questionnaire regarding any difficulties you have with activities of daily living. The HCA will help you with this if necessary.
At your first appointment you will be seen by one of  the medical team or by a rheumatology practitioner. You will be asked about your general health, previous medical history, current medication, and drug allergies. Any relevant family history will also be noted. If a physical examination is necessary you may be asked to partially undress. Our staff can help you if required and a chaperone will be available if you wish. Further investigations such as blood tests or X-rays may be needed before a further  appointment is arranged.
Following your appointment you may need to start new medication. You may be given a prescription to be dispensed by the hospital pharmacy, or may be advised to consult your own doctor for this. Usually only a small supply of medication will be issued and you will need to obtain further prescriptions from your GP.
Regular blood tests are important when taking many of the disease-modifying treatments used in rheumatology. You will be told how often tests are required; they can be done at the Ipswich Hospital Pathology Department or by a practice nurse, community (district) nurse, or phlebotomist at your GP practice. (You will need to check if your surgery provides this service).
Some conditions will not require further follow-up from the rheumatology team and you may be discharged back to the care of your own GP. More often, a further appointment will be arranged, either by you to attend in person or for a telephone review. 
When and where to get results of any tests: Results of investigations are not usually given by telephone; however, if you have been asked to call for results these may be obtained via the Advice line:  01473 703315

 

Related documents and links to further information