Community Rheumatology Services

Modality Community Rheumatology Services

Service Information

Clinical lead: Dr Ben Empson
Our Rheumatology service is led by a GP with Extended Role in Rheumatology, supported by a multidisciplinary team of physiotherapists, GPs with extended roles, rheumatology nurse specialists and academic rheumatology consultants. We have X-ray and community ultrasound facilities and support research nurses.
Our community rheumatology service has three main aims:
      1.Diagnosis and treatment of early inflammatory arthritis and other common rheumatology related conditions;
      2. Education and intensive treatment of inflammatory arthritis flexed and delivered locally in the community;
      3. To support and promote primary care rheumatology research.
Treatments offered where appropriate:
– Drug treatments
– Blood tests for monitoring of drug therapy
– Joint assessment and physical examination
– Joint injections as indicated
– Access to physiotherapy, occupational therapy, podiatry and psychological support
– Access to local and national support, advice and guidance on benefits
– Access to psychologist and physiotherapist led to pain management.

Inclusion Criteria

  • Musculoskeletal problems:
    • Osteoarthritis
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Overuse injuries/tenosynovitis or requiring local injections
    • Shoulders
    • Knees
    • Plantar Fasciitis elbows
    • Wrists and carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Suspected Connective Tissue Disorders:
    • SLE
    • PM/DM
    • Systemic sclerosis
    • Inflammatory arthropathies
    • RA/Sjogren
    • Reactive arthritis
    • Ser-negative arthritides
    • Crystal arthropathies
    • Goutpseudogout
    • PMR

Exclusion Criteria

  • Patients under the age of 16
  • Septic arthritis
  • Multisystem vasculitides

Diagnostics Provided

  • Not applicable

Referral method

  • Referrals should be made using the standard referral template, emailed to
  • The community services admin team can be contacted on 0121 250 1592 with any admin queries.