Summary of team:
If you have a condition affecting your joints, bones, muscles or immune system our team of doctors, specialist nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, podiatrists, pharmacists and administrators can help diagnose and treat you.
Referral to Rheumatology is via your GP or physiotherapy team. If you are diagnosed with an inflammatory condition by Rheumatology you will be given our advice line telephone numbers.
- North Tyneside General Hospital
- Wansbeck General Hospital
- Hexham General hospital
- Berwick Infirmary
- Alnwick Infirmary
- Morpeth NHS Centre
- Blyth community hospital
Rheumatology covers multiple conditions affecting the immune system, bones, joints and muscles as well as soft tissues (connective tissues).
Examples include Rheumatoid and Psoriatic Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Osteoporosis, Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (in patients over the age of 16 years), Polymyalgia rheumatica, Connective tissue diseases such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus) Sjogren’s and Systemic sclerosis and vasculitis (blood vessel inflammation) such as giant cell arteritis. This list is not exhaustive.
To make a diagnosis we will talk to you about your symptoms, examine you, and often arrange tests which may include blood tests, X rays, ultrasound, CT or MRI scans.
Once we have reached a diagnosis we will support you in deciding which treatment(s) are likely to help manage your condition. These treatments might include medications, such as painkillers, anti-inflammatories, steroids or treatments to control your condition which are known as DMARDs or disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. Sometimes we may give treatments by injection or infusion and the team will explain the reasons for this if needed. Non-drug therapies, support and education are provided by our multidisciplinary team depending on your needs.
We like to see you as early as possible because we know that early treatment can lead to better patient outcomes in the longer term.
Sometimes we need to involve other specialists or services to support you in managing your condition, for example the ‘living well with pain’ team, orthopedic surgeons or other medical specialists.
We aim to enable you in living as normal a life as possible with your rheumatological condition and to support you in making decisions about your healthcare and treatments at every step.
Appointments may be either face-to-face in an outpatient department or by telephone or video call, your appointment letter will advise you on the type of appointment.
For the consultants ring the secretary of the site you are usually seen on:
Alnwick Infirmary (only available on Wednesday or Thursday morning) – 01665 626756
Berwick Infirmary (only available Tuesday to Friday) – 01289 356628
Hexham General Hospital (Monday to Thursday) – 01434 655336
If you are diagnosed with an inflammatory condition by Rheumatology and are experiencing a flare up or have a question about your medication contact the rheumatology specialist nurses:
For patients from Hexham, and North Tyneside and outside Northumbria:
North Tyneside General Hospital – 0191 293 4159
For all other patients within Northumbria:
Wansbeck General Hospital – 01670 529448
If you receive prescriptions from the Rheumatology department instead of your GP please call:
North Tyneside General Hospital – 0191 293 4223
Wansbeck General Hospital – 01670 564124
Please note we require 2 to 3 weeks’ notice as prescriptions are posted to your home.
If you have a flare up of your arthritis and are struggling with daily activities then physiotherapy can help. You can self-refer to physiotherapy if you are being treated by a Northumbria Rheumatologist by ringing your local physiotherapy department. You will be given the option of a phone, video or face-to-face appointment depending on individual requirements.
Alnwick – 01665 626787
Berwick – 01289 356643
Blyth – 01670 564010
Hexham – 01434 655031
North Tyneside General Hospital – 0191 2934064
Wansbeck General Hospital – 01670 564010
For Occupational therapy
Please ask your Rheumatology nurse or consultant if you would like to be referred to occupational therapy. After you have seen us you can then self-refer at any point in the future if you feel you would benefit from further input.
North Tyneside General Hospital – 0191 293 4318
Wansbeck General Hospital – 01670 529449
Hexham General Hospital – 01434 655632
Versus Arthritis - www.versusarthritis.org
National rheumatoid arthritis society - nras.org.uk
The Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis alliance - www.papaa.org
National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society - nass.co.uk
The British Sjogren’s Syndrome Association - www.bssa.uk.net
Lupus UK - www.lupusuk.org.uk
Living Well with Pain - livewellwithpain.co.uk
Juvenile Arthritis - www.
Vasculitis Society - www.vasculitis.org.uk
Stop Smoking Help - www.northumbria.nhs.uk/stopsmoking
Royal Osteoporosis Society – https://
Arthur’s place - https:/
Further information about Occupational and Social Care: