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How to get help

If you feel that you have a problem with your joints, you should first make an appointment to see your GP. Your GP may then decide to refer you to the department for a specialist opinion, and this will take place in the rheumatology department at Poole Hospital.

You may be seen by a member of the rheumatology team on this first appointment. This could be the specialist registrar, or the clinical assistants.

If your diagnosis is rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis or psoriatic arthritis, you will probably be referred to the rheumatology follow-up service (RFU).

What happens at a clinic appointment?

At the RFU clinics you will be seen by a rheumatology practitioner who will assess your arthritis and monitor your treatment. The rheumatology practitioners are able to discuss and advise on many aspects of your arthritis. These include how to deal with 'flares' of the disease, drugs, exercise, ways to protect your joints, family problems, financial worries, day to day activities, work problems and social services.

Rheumatology practitioners order your blood tests and x-rays, as well as refer you to physiotherapy, occupational therapy, appliances (footwear), podiatry (insoles) and social services. Patient education is provided on a one to one basis during the appointment with the rheumatology practitioner, we provide handouts on all the main drugs that are used and can also give information on other aspects of the disease.

Is there additional support?

We recognise that problems with arthritis do not always occur conveniently at the time of your appointment, therefore we run a telephone advice line. This is an answer phone that is on 24 hours a day. We try to answer the calls ourselves during office hours. However, we do run busy clinics so if you leave a message we aim to get back to you within a short space of time.

If you have problems with your arthritis or are worried about possible side effects of your treatment, you can contact us on the telephone advice line number below.

Rheumatology Telephone Advice Line number: 01202 442849

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Key information

Contact us:
Advice line for people under our care with inflammatory arthritis:
01202 442849

Find us:
We are based in the Studland Centre in Poole Hospital:

Opening hours:
Monday-Friday 9am - 4pm

Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB. Tel: 01202 665511

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