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Rheumatology – Early Arthritis Clinic


Early Arthritis Clinic allows rapid access to Rheumatology services for assessment of patients with painful, stiff or swollen joints which may represent the onset of rheumatoid arthritis.

Early Arthritis Clinic

Allows rapid access to Rheumatology services for assessment of patients with painful, stiff or swollen joints which may represent the onset of rheumatoid arthritis.

Due to the large numbers of patients being referred to this clinic, the rheumatology department request that patients are examined face to face to document the extent and severity of joint inflammation prior to referral.


Please use the EMIS referral form (see right for this clinic referral) Example below


MCP Squeeze Test                                MTP Squeeze Test

(Acknowledgement: Versus Arthritis)


Send the referral via ERS

Search speciality ‘Rheumatology’ and clinic type ‘Early Inflammatory Arthritis’

The commissioned service to refer to is Rheumatology

Please do not delay referral for blood test or x-ray results.

NICE standards are for referral within 3 days of primary care F2F visit when Inflammatory arthritis is suspected.

Symptom onset must be less than 6 months for the Early Inflammatory Arthritis Pathway.

If symptoms present greater than 6 months please send as routine referral.

All patients referred must be examined FACE TO FACE in Primary Care first

Please DO NOT START STEROIDS unless discussed with on call rheumatologist

NB this clinic is not for patients with probable osteoarthritis, widespread pain symptoms or raised inflammatory markers ? cause patients.

If your patient is systemically unwell with raised ESR /CRP please discuss with medical Registrar on call.

If your patient has developed an acutely swollen, hot joint which may be septic or gouty in origin please contact the Registrar on call in Orthopaedics or Rheumatology to discuss the patient that day.

The E-referral will be reviewed by a Consultant and if felt appropriate for this particular clinic, an appointment will be sent out to the patient directly.

If not, then a routine appointment will be made in the general clinics and the referring GP will be informed of the outcome.

Please ensure we have up to date contact details, including a mobile telephone number for the patient, on the form.

For those confirmed with inflammatory arthritis, follow up appointments will be arranged approximately every 4-6 weeks in order to escalate the treatment until the disease activity is felt to be either in remission or at the  lowest level possible for that particular patient.


Email: RheumatologySecretaries@uhcw.nhs.uk

Telephone number: 02476 966706

Ask yourself has this patient got the ‘S’ factor?

Rheumatology Services

The UHCW rheumatology service runs various clinics, mainly at UHCW but also at St Cross Hospital, Rugby and George Eliot Hospital, Nuneaton.

There is a wide range of services, including an early arthritis clinic, an ankylosing spondylitis clinic, an urgent review clinic, and an osteoporosis service.

Here is a list of the consultants, with their interests and involvement at other hospitals:

  • Dr Tanya Potter (Early inflammatory arthritis/transitional care) UHCW ext 26708
  • Dr Kaushik Chaudhuri (Osteoporosis) UHCW/George Eliot ext 26708
  • Dr Phillip Perkins UHCW/George Eliot ext 26708
  • Dr Shirish Dubey (Connective tissue diseases/Vasculitis) UHCW/St Cross ext 26707
  • Dr Price-Forbes UHCW/George Eliot ext 26707
  • Dr Gillian Peffers UHCW ext 26707 (Early Arthritis, General Rheumatology, Sjogrens)
  • Dr Nicola Gullick UHCW (Psoriatic Arthritis and Research)
  • Dr Tim Blake UHCW (Acute Medicine, Spondyloarthropathy, Connective Tissue Diseases).
  • The Rheumatology Registrars carry bleeps (2531 or 1365) and are contactable 9am-5pm for advice.
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