Nurse-led clinics run every day usually in Out Patient C of North Devon District Hospital (generally alongside the Rheumatology consultants). There are 4 rheumatology specialist nurses in the department and each has designated general clinics on a daily basis. An osteoporosis service is also run by Beverly Vale.
If you have a nurse appointment you will be met by the nurse at the reception desk in Out Patient C and taken to a clinic room. These appointments are to assess your condition and ensure you are receiving the appropriate interventions needed to manage your condition. We use a database to collect this information and may use different assessments on the computer to enable us to gather your individual information. We call these ‘patient reported outcome measures’ and you may be invited to assess this yourself via an email link at home prior to seeing us in the clinic. The appointment is also an opportunity to discuss any issues or concerns you may have relevant to your condition and lifestyle. This may lead to a referral to other specialities within the team. We always welcome a spouse or family member if you wish them to attend. Letters are always sent to your GP and yourself following your appointment with us.
At the end of the appointment, you may be invited to complete a patient satisfaction questionnaire using an electronic tablet. This enables you to add any feedback or comments you may have about the appointment or regarding the service as a whole and any changes you would like to see in our clinics. This is not mandatory for your appointment.
Research is also an important part of our work and you may be invited to participate in relevant studies that are going on but again this is not mandatory. We would encourage participation as research is a positive step in development and improvements within Rheumatology which can benefit yourself and future generations.
As well as NDDH clinics, Specialist nurses within the Rheumatology team also visit community hospitals such as Bideford and South Molton.
We have a multi-disciplinary team meeting mid-week where we can discuss your care or concerns which may have been raised during your appointment with other Rheumatology team members such as the Doctors, Physiotherapists or Occupational therapists.