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Providing a community rheumatology service

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A recent review of the NHS highlighted that patients with long-term conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, would prefer to receive specialist health care closer to home.1.

The monitoring and treatment associated with such a chronic condition is currently almost exclusively hospital-based, causing inconvenience to patients and higher costs to the health service.

However, an innovative and successful pilot scheme in Birmingham is providing patients with inflammatory arthritis with the option of receiving specialist care in a community setting, while taking a more holistic approach to treatment.

Key aims of the rheumatology service

To provide patients with common rheumatological conditions with a specialst service in the community; improving assessment and treatment pathways; and offering ongoing care to those with confirmed diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis.

To complement the care provided by GPs and hospital consultants by offering regular treatment and monitoring closer to home.

To enable a one-stop approach to management and referral to community-based support services.

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