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RD&E Rheumatology Department celebrates prestigious achievements


The Rheumatology team at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust has had a run of award successes, both winning and being shortlisted for prestigious honours.

At the British Society for Rheumatology awards, the Early Synovitis Clinic won the Best Practice Award.  The Biologics Clinic was also a finalist in the British Society for Rheumatology awards.


The British Society for Rheumatology’s Best Practice Awards highlight ground-breaking and innovative practice in NHS rheumatology services. Finalists were shortlisted following nominations by regional chairs, service reports and visits from a specialist panel. Their work was then assessed by an expert judging panel.


And the celebrations did not end there. At the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards, the same team was a finalist for the Efficiency in Medicines Management.


The HSJ Awards shortlisted the Early Synovitis Team for its ‘one stop shop service’ to treat and target and said this about the team: “This initiative created a one stop shop for early treatment of inflammatory arthritis with early and optimised drug treatment. Increased phone support for patients also reduces the need for attendances. The impact and clinical outcomes are inspirational.”

Dr Richard Haigh, Lead Rheumatology Consultant, said: “Starting up this clinic and then year upon year improving and adapting the service has required a Herculean team effort. It has required dedicated teamwork within Rheumatology; amongst doctors, nurses, admin team, and therapists.

“Critically, we have had excellent support from our management team and other clinical departments in the hospital, which has enabled provision of this comprehensive service. Our main message is that the early identification and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis will improve long term outcomes. Our patients will suffer less pain and disability, and will be able to carry out their roles normally and live healthier lives.”


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