Read our latest advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Our services are open and safe to attend – we are here to help

Rheumatology services

Diagnosing and treating joint, bone and connective tissue diseases 

Coronavirus: rheumatology services update

Please read our frequently asked questions before contacting the department.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic we are having to make changes to the way we deliver our service.

Rheumatology patients and the COVID-19 vaccine

If you were taking medicines that affect your immune system at the time of your 1st and 2nd COVID-19 vaccine dose, you may need a 3rd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This is also known as a 3rd primary dose. You should have this at least 3 months after your 2nd dose.

A 4th 'booster' COVID-19 vaccine dose should also be offered to you. This will be 3 months after your 3rd vaccine dose.

Our Vaccination for coronavirus page has more information including how to book your vaccine.

Versus Arthritis has COVID-19 advice for people taking steroids.

Information about your rheumatology appointment and COVID-19

Due to the increase of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases your appointment may be affected.

Your appointment may change from a face-to-face visit to a telephone call, or may be cancelled or rescheduled. We'll contact you to let you know if we need to make a change to your appointment.

Please email any appointment queries to gst-tr.rheumandlupus@nhs.net.

Please email any clinical queries such as medication requests or advice to gst-tr.rheumatologynurse@nhs.net.

If you are experiencing a flare of your condition, and are an existing patient, please book a telephone call on the Dr Doctor website.

If you have an upcoming face-to-face appointment with us and are worried about coming in to hospital, please do not cancel your appointment. We'll call you around the time of your appointment if you do not come in.

Please see our COVID-19 page for further information.

What to expect from your rheumatology appointment

Most of our appointments will be face-to-face or by telephone. You will be told what type of appointment you have when your appointment is made.

Some clinics are offering video consultations, especially those run by the rheumatology physiotherapist and psychologist. Video consultations need to be agreed before your appointment to make sure you have a compatible device at home. You will receive a text message before your appointment to confirm the date and time if you have opted into this service.

Every effort will be taken for telephone consultations to run to time. If your appointment is delayed we will aim to call you within 1 hour of your appointment time.

Following your appointment, a letter will be sent to you and your GP summarising the consultation.

For telephone appointments, you may receive a call from a 'private number' or 'unknown number', so please disable any functions on your mobile phone which block these calls.

To cancel or rearrange your appointment, please email gst-tr.rheumandlupus@nhs.net or call 020 7188 5900.

We do not offer a walk-in or out-of-hours service. Please do not attend the hospital unless you have a booked appointment.

Attending the hospital for an appointment

If we have asked you to attend the hospital, please arrive on time to make sure you are seen. Blood tests will be done in the rheumatology department as usual.

We've introduced a number of measures to help people 'stay safe and keep apart' when visiting the hospital and you can also read our list of frequently asked questions about coronavirus and inflammatory disease.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for high-risk patients

Patients with chronic inflammatory disease may be at a greater risk of serious illness if they catch coronavirus (COVID-19).

Please check the list of immunosuppressive medications. If you are taking any of these you may be considered a high-risk patient.

The advice we offer is based on the Government guidance on shielding for people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable.

Nurse telephone appointment booking service

If you're an existing patient, please book a telephone appointment to receive advice or help with:

  • a flare of your condition
  • health advice relating to your condition
  • medicine advice, including side effects

Please do not use these appointment slots if your query is non-clinical.

You can email the nursing administration team on gst-tr.rheumatologynurse@nhs.net with prescriptions queries or to send in blood results. Please provide your:

  • full name
  • hospital/NHS number
  • date of birth

This service is only available for patients who have already attended a clinic. It is not suitable for new patients.

 

Coronavirus

Please visit the main Trust coronavirus (COVID-19) page for more information. 

Contact us

To book, amend or cancel appointments (including blood tests) in the rheumatology department, please call 020 7188 5900.

Nurse telephone appointment service

If you're an existing patient, please book a telephone appointment to receive advice or help with:

  • a flare of your condition
  • health advice relating to your condition
  • medicines, including any side effects

Please do not use these appointment slots if your query is non-clinical.

Alternatively, please email gst-tr.
rheumatologynurse
@nhs.net
.

If you do not have access to email please call the telephone helpline on 020 7188 5896 and leave a message. Your call will be handled by the most appropriate member of the team.

This service is only available for patients who have already attended clinic. It is not suitable for new patients.

Access guide

AccessAble, accessibility information about Rheumatology (Tower) and the Louise Coote Lupus Unit

AccessAble, click for accessibility information