rheumatologist - NHS?

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rheumatologist - NHS?

Postby sjc » Sat May 04, 2013 11:38 am

Hi there folks, hope you are ok

Anyways, I finally got one of my GP's to refer me to a specialist over a month ago - I didn't know what specialist he referred me to but it was the rheuamotology department at my local hospital...I have never been to a rheaumatologist before, so I do not know how they work, to be honest

So has anyway got any experiences on using rheaumotology departments through the NHS....What should I expect, and what can they do?

Are they there to help people for only a short term basis or do they help people on a long term basis?

Do rheaumatology departments have any rehabilation programmes or do they refer you onto other treatments, like OT, hydrotherapy, etc...

I was basically thrown the diagnosis of fibromyalgia at me several years ago via a GP, but she didn't run any thorough test, x-rays, or refer me to any specialists to rule out any underlying disorders...I know from research that fibro is very similiar to other conditions out there, like arthritis, MS, lupus, food allergies, etc....so I basically want a proper investigation to rule out any underlying factors....but I am hoping to get abit more better treatment, as all I get is anti-depressants and painkillers thrown at me when I go to the GP's....

Any information would be appreciated...
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Re: rheumatologist - NHS?

Postby *Lisa* » Sat May 04, 2013 11:50 am

The Rhumi will ask you loads a questions on your symptoms, how they effect you, how your day is and do you work etc. May ask if you have any stresses gong on and ask what other medical conditions you have.

Will ask what meds your on/tried and examine you. Will feel for tender areas and feel the joints.

After they have collected the info and examined you they may send you for further blood tests to rule other illnesses out and to see if anything else is going on.

If they suspect fibro straight away then they will talk to you on how to manage this and perscribe any medications they feel will help.

They may also refer you to physio.

They tend to only bring you back once more to see how your getting on then you get discharged to the GP who will take take of your symptoms.
As a Public Moderator & Admin of this forum my opinions/views expressed are personal and are no more valid than those of other members and not necessarily those of UKFibromyalgia...Lisa
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Re: rheumatologist - NHS?

Postby moomoos » Sat May 04, 2013 5:36 pm


I had a recent appointment with a Rhuematologist at my local NHS hospital at the Reheumatology Department. It went like this..........

I got there for my appointment at 10.10am, booked in at Reception, was told to sit in waiting room. Waited about 20 minutes...nurse came and shouted my name, she took me to a side room to do my weight, height and blood pressure. Weighing me was ok, height... she couldnt be bothered to wait for me to take my shoes off so said she would "knock a bit off" as I has a little heel on my shoes. I didnt want my blood pressure to be taken as the pain is unbearable when the band gets inflated on my arm, it feels like my inside of my elbow and downwards to my finger tips will explode. Was told to go back to waiting room and sit and wait.

Waited till 11.10am. Rheumatologist called me in to her office. Sat down with her and she asked me loads of questions about how my life is and whats going on with pain etc. She asked in detail when it all started and how, what was going on in my life at that time, whats gone on previous in my life. Family health history on certain things like cancer, diabetes, stuff like that. Had I had any major health problems myself, how many operations had I had in my life, how many broken bones I've had in my life... etc....

Then she wanted to physically examine me, she told me to strip to underwear, bra and knickers. She felt and manipulated every joint in my body, she felt for tender spots. I felt like I'd been in the ring with someone tougher than me lol. She examined the insides of my elbows and the backs of my knees at my request, poor woman was kneeling on the floor behind me to look at backs of my knees. She was really lovely to me.

I was then allowed to get dressed again and we sat back down and discussed a little more about my life. She then ordered her 'shopping list' as she called it, for me.

She said I need................ Hydrotherapy, Physiotherapy, a clinical Psychologist with a view to easing stress in my life, a CT scan to make sure the constant headaches I get and dizziness and losing my balance is due to FM and nothing else, and a blood test for Lupus, just to make sure cos GP missed that one out.

She said I can go see her when ever I want if I feel the need, or if I am unhappy with anything, and that I just have to go back to my GP and ask him to refer me again.

I was in her office for an hour.

I hope you get as nice a person as I got..... Good luck xx
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Re: rheumatologist - NHS?

Postby parisnoonoo » Tue May 21, 2013 10:29 am

Hi everyone im new to this site today, i got reffered to a rheumatologist last month who assessed me asked questions, examined me etc he suggessted i have fibromyalgia as i scored 18 out of 18 on his assessment, i have been suffering for 7 years now i have had scans MRIS xrays i got diagnosed with cervical spongolytis in 2004 but my pain and fatigue has got worse, i have been on zapain tramadol,naproxen and amitripyline all over the years have not really worked i am now on butrans 10mcg patch which helps i have been on that for a year and my pain is now becoming more noticable again, i went back to see the rheumatologist yesterday it was a different one to the one i seen last time this one was very patronising he said all my results xrays and blood tests came back normal he suggessted my pain was because i didnt get enough sleep i was happy i did not have RA, lupus etc but i asked what was wrong with me then he said if we have to label it its fibromyalgia he suggessted medical students were tested in a sleep study and when they did not have enough sleep they presented signs of fibromyalgia i said i have pain for most of the time he did not sound really interested he said fibromyalgia is not a disease in any shape or form and that he was going to refer me to a pain clinic i felt angry when i came out of the office he did not sound interrested at all i got the impression that he thought i was making my pain up does any one know what to expect from a pain clinic :-?
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Re: rheumatologist - NHS?

Postby Purpledot » Tue May 21, 2013 1:59 pm

I saw a Rheumy at a local NHS hospital a few months ago, as my GP suspected I may have RA (due to sudden onset of stiffness and pain in fingers).

The Rheumy I saw was very nice. The consultation started with a load of questions on how I was feeling, past health, family history of arthritis etc (none, by the way!). He then examined me (pressed all the tender spots etc), and did an ultrasound scan (I think) on my worst fingers.

He then said that he could find no evidence of RA, although looking at a recent x-ray of my hands he said he could see evidence of early OA. He then gave me a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and discharged me back to my GP, who he said could refer me back to him at any time if he felt it necessary. He did also order some blood tests to double-check the inflammatory levels etc. He did ask me about the quality of sleep I was getting etc, and suggested I speak to my GP about trying Amitryptiline to help me sleep properly. I was sent off with a tiny leaflet on Fibro.

Although he was very nice, I did feel it was a bit "You have this, here's a leaflet.....now get your GP to sort it out!".

I think it is such a lottery these days who you get to see.
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Re: rheumatologist - NHS?

Postby JessL » Tue May 21, 2013 5:42 pm

I was referred to a rheumatologist a few months ago after being back and forth to my doctors for 2+ years. After numerous blood tests etc I finally got to talk to a GP who had a special interest in muscles and FM was first mentioned. I had actually been to a specialist previously who diagnosed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome but I felt like he was just saying it to put a label on it be honest. He was completely unaware of the thing called personal space and very blunt and rude. So I went back to my doctor. The rheumatologist I saw was very helpful, examined me thoroughly pressing all the 'tender spots', and arranged for some more blood tests and x rays to be done. I saw him again a few weeks on and all the tests came back clear apart from my Vitamin D level was low. On this basis he suggested the cause of my problems was FM as he had ruled everything else out. He suggested I take vitamin D and calcium tablets and then made an appointment for me at the physio. I have been to see the physio a couple of times and have my next appointment with the rheumatologist coming up in a couple of months. He also gave me several booklets on FM to help me understand it more. All in all, I think I had a good experience with the NHS
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