The proximity of clinical services to the academic centre facilitates excellent collaboration between clinicians and researchers to the clear benefit of both.
A range of general and specialist out patient clinics are provided including sub specialty clinics for patients with ankylosing spondylitis, metabolic bone disease, connective tissue disease and vasculitis reflecting the clinical and academic interests of the department. The is collaboration with the paediatric services for children and adolescents with inflammatory arthritis including transition services. The day case unit is staffed by a team of trained nurses and supervises the assessment and administration of biologic therapies.The NHS Grampian Department of Rheumatology based at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary on the Foresterhill site provides a comprehensive range of clinical services across the spectrum of rheumatic disease for the population of North East Scotland and Orkney (population approx. 540 000). With a strong emphasis on the diagnosis and management of inflammatory joint disease there is a purpose designed clinical area with a suite of out patient rooms, a modern day case unit and area for physiotherapy and occupational therapy care. Mobile and fixed ultrasound units are available for the assessment of synovitis and a high level of clinical experience is available within the senior medical team. The Grampian Osteoporosis Service is collocated within the Rheumatology centre and boasts two state of the art DXA scanners. Video conferencing facilities are provided within the department and are used for clinical and other networking purposes. Access to in patient facilities is available on site when required and there are good working relations with a number of related clinical specialties.
North East Scotland covers a large geographical area and “peripheral“ clinics are held at Dr Gray’s Hospital, Elgin (65 miles from Aberdeen). Dr Gray’s Hospital also has DXA facilities linked to the centre in Aberdeen for consistency in reporting. Clinics are also run in Balfour Hospital, Orkney in the Northern Isles of Scotland supplemented by regular, innovative, tele-Rheumatology clinics utilising the expertise of the the senior physiotherapist based on the islands. Recently, a mobile DXA unit has been purchased for the benefit of the population in remote parts of North Scotland and the clinical and cost effectiveness of this approach is being scientifically evaluated.
The department is committed to undergraduate education within the University of Aberdeen, trains junior doctors in Rheumatology and has an active postgraduate education and audit programme.