Rheumatology

Assessment and management of musculoskeletal and inflammatory disorders.

Availability

North South North West Statewide

Scope

THS Southern Region

Paediatric rheumatology patients to the age of 15 years please refer to Paediatric Clinic

Suspected or known ankylosing spondylitis refer to Inflammatory Spinal Clinic

Suspected or known scleroderma refer to Scleroderma Clinic

For open access zolendronic acid infusion please refer to the RHH Ambulatory Care Centre via link on by the osteoporosis/osteomalacia page.

Degenerative and soft tissue conditions are unable to be seen in this clinic at this time. Please refer to HealthPathways for guidance.

For non-specific symptoms such as fatigue, consider a General Medical Clinic in the first instance if the person cannot be managed in the primary care setting.

Patients with possible fibromyalgia  can be referred non-urgently for diagnostic purposes and initial management advice.


THS Northern and North West Regions

Refer to General Medicine.

Emergency conditions

Emergency conditions/symptoms include (not an exhaustive list):

  • Acutely unwell patients with SLE or Vasculitis.
  • Patients with symptoms of giant cell/ temporal arthritis, acute visual loss, jaw claudication, severe persistent unilateral headache, raised inflammatory markers.
  • Patients with suspected Septic Arthritis – acute hot swollen joint with fever and high inflammatory markers.

Referral process

A referral (preferably faxed) is required for all new appointments and must conform to the Referral Standards as outlined on For Clinicians.

All referrals triaged and allocated to Consultant or Unit Registrar. Registrar cases will be discussed with Consultant.

Urgent referrals (eg temporal arteritis, septic arthritis) should be accompanied by a phone call to the Rheumatology Registrar or Consultant for urgent assessment, or patient should be directed to the Emergency Department.

Please forward relevant clinical history including current and past management, co morbidities, social and work history, investigation results and ask patients to bring current medication list and, if appropriate, any relevant x-rays.

Clinic Appointments - Appointments are based on clinical priority:

Emergency

Proceed to Emergency Department (ED). Please contact ED Medical Officer in Charge:
LGH ED
– Phone: (03) 6777 6405  Fax: (03) 6348 7382
MCH ED
– Phone: (03) 6478 5120  Fax: (03) 6426 5115
NWRH ED
– Phone: (03) 6493 6340  Fax: (03) 6430 6691
RHH ED
– Phone: (03) 6166 6100  Fax: (03) 6222 8919

Urgent / category 1

Please discuss with registrar or consultant. We will endeavour to see these patients within four weeks.

Urgent referrals (e.g. temporal arteritis, septic arthritis) should be accompanied by a phone call to the Rheumatology Registrar or Consultant for urgent assessment, or patient should be directed to the Emergency Department.

Semi-urgent / category 2

We will endeavour to see these patients within 12 weeks

Routine / category 3

Next available appointment

Referral template

For use by health professionals only

Additional information

Patient information advice is found at Arthritis Australia