Your appointment


Before your appointment

Please follow the instructions on the appointment letter and remember to bring with you:

It can be helpful to briefly reflect on your symptoms before your appointment, so that you have a clear sense of what you want to talk about in your appointment. Taking notes may help with this.

Additionally, you should think about any questions that you might want to ask the consultant. These can be related to your symptoms, treatment options, or any other worries which you may have. Our team will do our best to answer all your queries.

Arriving for your appointment

Please inform reception when you arrive. The receptionist will check your details and will ask you to take a seat in the waiting area. The nursing team will check your weight, blood pressure and test a urine sample if necessary. They will then ask you to wait and the consultant or one of their team will call you soon after.

Your appointment will be with a consultant rheumatologist or specialist registrar. Some consultants also provide teaching clinics, where you may be seen by a consultant but with medical students observing. If you wish to opt out of this, please do not hesitate to let the nurses or consultant know. No offence will be taken.

During your appointment

If you are attending for a first appointment in the Rheumatology Department, this should normally last 30 minutes. The doctor will ask you questions about your current complaint and also obtain considerable detail about any other medical history you may have, the medication you are taking, any relevant family history, cigarette and alcohol use where appropriate. A general examination will also be performed to assess your general health and your joints.

The doctor will then discuss the diagnosis with you and outline any investigations that are necessary. Sometimes an intervention can be performed on the day such as a joint injection and at other times a further follow up appointment will be organised. Please feel free to ask any questions or raise any concerns during your appointment.

After the appointment

You may need to start new a medication following your appointment. You will be fully counselled on this medication either by the doctors or a member of the nurse practitioner team. Once baseline investigations have been carried out and your GP has been informed of the plan to commence medication, a prescription will be issued by the consultant. You can find more information about the possible diseases and drugs the doctors could discuss with you in this website.