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Community rheumatology service improves local care

User AvatarPosted by Paul Davey at 13/03/2017 12:39:23

A pilot service commissioned by NHS South Kent Coast CCG has been enabling patients with painful muscle, bone and joint conditions to be treated in Deal and Romney Marsh instead of having to travel all the way to Dover, Ashford, Canterbury or Margate.

A twice-weekly clinic for rheumatology patients, run by East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust (EKHUFT), has been trialled since December 2015 at the town’s Victoria Hospital – with fortnightly sessions at Romney Marsh Day Centre.

Rheumatology treats musculoskeletal disease and auto immune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, which can affect people’s joints, muscles and bones, causing pain, swelling, stiffness and deformity with a debilitating effect on patients’ lives.

As you will see in this short film, the feedback from patients has been extremely positive. It’s all part of the CCG’s plans to provide more integrated care services within local communities, without having to travel to a main hospital.

Julia Witz, a nurse consultant from East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust (EKHUFT), who has been running the clinics, said:  “The local patients love coming to this clinic, which is small and friendly, and it means they avoid long journeys by bus and taxi.

“So far, the feedback that we’ve received has been excellent. We’re evaluating the pilot scheme as we go on, but we asked 75 patients to give us their thoughts, and they were very positive. The Deal GPs have also been particularly supportive.”