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The consultant led Rheumatology service within County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust has dedicated clinical nurse specialists, additional specialist nursing support and therapies all of which provide comprehensive care throughout the patient's journey.

We provide an holistic patient centred approach to the diagnosis and management of rheumatological and related conditions including neurophysiological tests delivered locally and supported by patient telephone advice lines.

Inpatient facilities are provided on Ward 2 at Darlington Memorial Hospital and at University Hospital of North Durham.

There are Day Ward facilities at both Darlington Memorial Hospital and University Hospital of North Durham, which are used extensively for the administration of anti TNF alpha drugs, cytotoxics and pamidronate.

We provide clinical input and advice to the Trust's and the community osteoporosis services.

We also have links with Child Health to provide an enhanced local service for children with musculoskeletal conditions (please see paediatric services for details).

We are committed to a high quality clinical service and also contribute to clinical education and research seeing this as an essential part of ensuring our service remains at the forefront of modern medicine.

Members of the Department regularly present original work at regional, national and international conferences.

We are actively involved in medical education. We share our specialist knowledge with our colleagues within the Trust including the teaching and development of junior doctors and medical students.

The Northern Deanery Rheumatology training scheme has been commended for its excellence and our work has been published.

We are actively involved in research and recruit to a number UK Clinical Research Network Study Portfolio studies. The department frequently has poster presentations at major national and international Rheumatology conferences.

Members of the Department are actively involved with patient support groups (National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, the National Osteoporosis Society support group and the Paget's Association).

As part of the management of early inflammatory joint disease we run a multidisciplinary education programme for newly diagnosed patients and their relatives/carers.

'Every aspect of my emergency care was dealt with quickly, efficiently and professionally with full explanations and compassion from all staff involved'.

Patient, Emergency Department, Darlington Memorial Hospital