In support of the national strategy to move NHS care closer to home, a new Community Rheumatology service is now live in Ashford. The new service will mean that the monitoring and follow up care you receive for your condition will now be delivered by a combination of your local GP practice (monitoring and prescribing of your medication), the new community based service for face to face reviews, telephone consultations or urgent telephone advice and/or in the hospital Rheumatology department if your condition requires a consultant review.
The new pathway has been designed to ensure that you will be cared for by the most appropriate clinician at each stage of your patient pathway. Depending on the nature and severity of your condition you may move between these clinicians as appropriate and agreed with yourself.
The new community service has many components to ensure ease of access and a comprehensive, holistic way of managing your condition. These include:
- Apppointments delivered closer to home in GP surgeries, community hospitals and community centres.
- Telephone consultations
- Monthly education sessions
- An annual review with the rheumatology team
- 24 hour call back Monday to Friday for patients with queries or concerns
- 48 hour urgent appointments for patients experiencing a flare of their condition
- A range of exercise classes
The new community Rheumatology service will be operated by Connect Health, an experienced provider of community NHS services dating back to 1993. Connect are working with the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust (EKHUFT) to ensure a smooth transfer of patients from hospital clinics to the community where appropriate. The community clinics will be staffed by Specialist Rheumatology Nurses who will be linking in with Consultant Rheumatologists.
Patients with existing Rheumatology conditions will have received letters from NHS Ashford CCG seeking your consent to opt into this service.
If you have any queries about this service please contact Connect Health on 01223 603 986 or https://www.connecthealth.co.uk/contact/