The Rheumatology Department is based in Level 2 of the hospital and is a multi-disciplinary team of doctors, specialist nurses, physiotherapists, radiographers, occupational therapists and administrative staff.
To ensure consistency in treatment across the region and to enable patients to receive specialist care as near to home as possible, they have a close working relationship with GPs and the rheumatology team at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton.
Patients can be referred from GP practices for diagnosis, treatment and, when appropriate, long-term management of patients with a range of musculoskeletal disorders including inflammatory arthritis, soft tissue rheumatism, osteoarthritis, connective tissue diseases and osteoporosis.
Outpatient clinics are held on Level 3 at Yeovil District Hospital and at the Yeatman Community Hospital, Sherborne and West Mendip Community Hospital, Glastonbury.
The hospital also has the services of a rheumatology registrar on rotation from Bristol and Bath, who performs clinics alongside both consultants.
Rheumatology Nurse Specialists
The department’s nurse specialists are Melanie Byfleet and Rebecca Rowland-Axe, who perform general rheumatology clinics and run a telephone advice service (01935 384737) for existing patients with inflammatory arthritis.
The departmental specialist physiotherapist is Sue Chesterman, who can be contacted on 01935 384358. She assesses and treats patients with inflammatory arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis in the therapy department and has a joint injection clinic in the outpatients’ department.
Specialist Occupational Therapist
The department’s specialist occupational therapist is Frankie Campbell, who can be contacted on 01935 384215.
Osteoporosis and Fracture Liaison Nurse Specialist
Clare Cockill is the osteoporosis nurse specialist in charge of assessing patients at risk of fracture, and advising appropriate investigations and treatment. She runs nurse-led clinics to manage, review and oversee osteoporosis treatments that are based in secondary care and provides a telephone advice service (01935 384569) as well as written advice and guidance for primary care. Clare runs an education session at the hospital twice a year for patients who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia.
Bone Density Service
Bone density scanning is mainly carried out by Chris James, an Assistant Practitioner in Radiology who has the National Osteoporosis Society’s Bone Densitometry qualification. Currently bone density scans are carried out on Level 2 but from March 2016 they will be done on Level 3 with the installation of a new Bone Density scanner (next to the radiology department).
The contact numbers for the Bone Density Unit are:
Telephone: 01935 384569.
Fax: 01935 384481.
For changes to bone density appointments, please telephone Radiology appointments: 01935 384576.