Rheumatology covers the diagnosis, care and treatment of a wide range of conditions, which affect the joints and surrounding tissues. This includes arthritis, connective tissue and autoimmune diseases, all long-term conditions that can severely impair mobility and movement if left untreated.
The Rheumatology Service in Central Lancashire transferred from the acute hospital trust to a community setting in September 2010. This has provided the opportunity to redesign the service and provide a service that is more accessible to our patients. The team is based at the Minerva Health Centre in Preston, a purpose built long-term conditions centre.
We work as a multi-disciplinary team led by 3 consultants with support from rheumatology specialist nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists. To access the rheumatology service patients need to be referred either by their GP or a hospital consultant.
Our patients have the opportunity to participate in research and we are also involved in the teaching of medical students and GP trainees. We have an active patient support group and our patients are encouraged to get involved with contributing to discussions around service development.