Rheumatology is the medical specialty specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of inflammatory arthritis, connective tissue disease and bone disease. NHS Grampian provides a comprehensive Rheumatology service based in Ashgrove House at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. In common with other established Rheumatology services, the approach is multi-disciplinary with a team consisting of senior doctors and doctors in training, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and radiographers and with input from pharmacy and clinical psychology.
The Rheumatology service is based on a busy out patient service, with over 10,000 patient attendances each year. A number of general and sub specialty clinics run regularly including clinics for patients with connective tissue disease, ankylosing spondylitis, bone disease and transition clinics for those with juvenile arthritis reaching adulthood. General clinics are also held in Dr Gray’s Hospital, Elgin, and Balfour Hospital, Kirkwall, the latter including an innovative tele-Rheumatology provision.
The day case unit at Ashgrove House coordinates the assessment and administration of "biologic" therapies. Access to in patient care is available when required via the medical wards of ARI. The Grampian Osteoporosis Services, also based in Ashgrove House, provides an integrated bone density scanning service, with state-of-the-art DXA scanners performing 4,500 scans annually. A mobile DXA scanner has been purchased aimed at delivering care closer to home visiting the more remote areas of the North East and the Northern Isles of Scotland.
In addition to clinical care, the department has important roles in teaching and training in Rheumatology, providing education to the public and is enthusiastic about collaborative research, working closely with the musculoskeletal research team at the University of Aberdeen.