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Engagement to support relocation of RNHRD services

Rheumatology Services & Clinical Measurement

Planned service relocation to the RUH site in 2018

We're planning to relocate the services currently provided by the RNHRD Rheumatology Service from their current location at the Mineral Hospital site to a purpose built RNHRD and Therapies Centre on the RUH's Combe Park site in 2018. The new Centre will bring together a number of outpatient services from the RUH and RNHRD which support patients to live independently in the community.

This relocation only affects the Rheumatology services provided from the Mineral Hospital site - satellite and community Rheumatology clinics across the South West and beyond will continue in their current location.

This is part of a careful and phased approach to relocating all RNHRD services from the Mineral Hospital site to the RUH or appropriate community based settings. Clinicians have been closely involved in these plans over the last few years, focusing on the continuity of high quality care and the importance of maintaining valued relationships with patients.

As the Rheumatology Service is closely inter-linked with the RNHRD's Rheumatology Therapies Service, we are planning to move these services at the same time to the RNHRD and Therapies Centre, you can find out more here.

This phase of engagement included the RNHRD's Clinical Measurement service, which provides DEXA scanning and specialist imaging and measurement. The Trust plans to temporarily relocate these services to the RUH's Nuclear Medicine department, a short (150m) walk on one level from the RNHRD and Therapies Centre, before a permanent move to the RUH's new Dyson Cancer Centre which will be located opposite the RNHRD and Therapies Centre. Patients will continue to have access to the same services, provided by the same teams.

You can find out more about why we are relocating all RNHRD services here.

What does this mean for me?

In the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre, patients will continue to be seen and treated by the same team, providing the same high standards of care. Only the location will change. For those who require in-patient care, this will still be available and you will still be seen and treated by the same team. The exact location of rheumatology inpatient beds has not yet been finalised.

Why are we relocating this service? What are the benefits?

The RNHRD's Rheumatology Service is highly regarded, and has an excellent reputation nationally and internationally.  There are no concerns about the standard of care provided and no plans to stop providing these services.

Relocating ensures the continuity of this service and provides the best opportunity to support and develop the service for the future.  Relocating also brings other benefits such as :

  • A modern, purpose built facility, designed in conjunction with patients, staff and those with an interest in the service.
  • Better  facilities including:
    • a large hydrotherapy pool,
    • a well-equipped gym,
    • enhanced group rooms,
    • improved waiting room facilities.
  • Better integrated care for those who access other services at the RUH.
  • Improved physical access; there will be flat access to the new Centre, modern lifts and a purpose designed building to accommodate those with restricted mobility.
  • Easier access to wider support services on the RUH site.
  • Staff will benefit from wider access to support services, easier access to training and development opportunities and more opportunities for shared learning.

What does the Rheumatology Service Provide?

The adult Rheumatology Service at the RNHRD provides specialist and general rheumatology services. The service includes inpatient rheumatology beds , a day case suite, which is also used to provide a Biologics service, and outpatient clinics. 

General rheumatology clinics are mostly for inflammatory arthritis, the most common of which is rheumatoid arthritis. Specialist services include flammatory and inflammatory conditions. Each condition is dealt with on its own terms, with patients referred to specialist clinics if appropriate.

Clinical services provided by the Rheumatology Service include:

  • Ankylosing Spondylitis service
  • Biologics Service (assessment and treatment for people with musculoskeletal conditions including: rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, connective tissue diseases, osteoporosis who require infusions or injections or urgent assessments.)
  • Connective Tissue Disease Service
  • Fibromyalgia Service
  • General Rheumatology
  • Hypermobility
  • Metabolic bone diseases including osteoporosis and Paget's disease
  • Performing arts medicine clinic
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Sports and Exercise medicine service

The service works closely with Clinical Measurement and Rheumatology Therapies which also operate from the Mineral Hospital site.

The RNHRD's Clinical Measurement service provides imaging and measurement services which enable doctors and clinicians to give accurate diagnosis and optimum treatment to patients and includes:

Gathering Feedback

Between October 2016 and Jan 2017 we invited feedback from those with an interest in this service. We spoke with and heard from a range of people and organisations, including patients, carers, clinicians, GPs, healthcare partners and support groups. We asked people to share their thoughts on our plans to relocate, including any benefits, concerns or anything else people thought we needed to consider.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to provide feedback. We used this information in our planning for the future to ensure we continue to provide the best care for those living with these conditions. You can see a copy of the final proposal here.

You can still contact us with your comments on our overall plans to relocate services from the RNHRD site at: ruh-tr.haveyoursay@nhs.net

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