The consultant led Rheumatology service within County Durham and
Darlington NHS Foundation Trust has dedicated clinical nurse
specialists, additional specialist nursing support and therapies
all of which provide comprehensive care throughout the patient's
We provide an holistic patient centred approach to the diagnosis
and management of rheumatological and related conditions including
neurophysiological tests delivered locally and supported by patient
telephone advice lines.
Inpatient facilities are provided on Ward 2 at Darlington Memorial
Hospital and at University Hospital of
There are Day Ward facilities at both Darlington Memorial
Hospital and University Hospital of
North Durham, which are used extensively for the administration
of anti TNF alpha drugs, cytotoxics and pamidronate.
We provide clinical input and advice to the Trust's and the
community osteoporosis services.
We also have links with Child Health to provide an enhanced
local service for children with musculoskeletal conditions (please
services for details).
We are committed to a high quality clinical service and also
contribute to clinical education and research seeing this as an
essential part of ensuring our service remains at the forefront of
Members of the Department regularly present original work at
regional, national and international conferences.
We are actively involved in medical education. We share our
specialist knowledge with our colleagues within the Trust including
the teaching and development of junior doctors and medical
The Northern Deanery Rheumatology training scheme has been
commended for its excellence and our work has been published.
We are actively involved in research and recruit to a number UK
Clinical Research Network Study Portfolio studies. The department
frequently has poster presentations at major national and
international Rheumatology conferences.
Members of the Department are actively involved with patient
support groups (National Rheumatoid
Arthritis Society, the National Osteoporosis
Society support group and the Paget's
As part of the management of early inflammatory joint disease we
run a multidisciplinary education programme for newly diagnosed
patients and their relatives/carers.
Our nursing team won recognition for NRAS (National
Rheumatological Arthritis Society) and the Royal College of
Nursing, and was awarded the Nursing
Standard Rheumatology Nurse of the Year in 2009 for using
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as part of the approach to help
patients manage their disease more effectively.
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community