Haverhill patients with joint disease and other rheumatology problems will be able to get faster access to specialist care delivered closer to home after West Suffolk Hospital launched extra clinics in the town.
The hospital has increased the number of rheumatology clinics taking place at Haverhill Health Centre from one to four a month to further improve the service patients receive.
Taking place on the first and third Wednesday of each month, they are staffed by a consultant rheumatologist and specialist nurse.
The service, which was first introduced in Haverhill in September 2012, has been extended to make it even easier for people in the town to access specialist help without having to travel to Bury St Edmunds.
The extra clinics cater for all types of inflammatory and non-inflammatory rheumatic disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatic and osteoporosis, with new patients waiting just two weeks for an appointment.
“We are committed to making it as easy as possible for people to access the specialist care we provide, which is why we have launched additional clinics in Haverhill,” said Dr Shweta Bhagat, consultant rheumatologist. “The existing clinics have been really well used, and we have received some excellent feedback from patients who appreciate the convenience of having their appointment in Haverhill.
“We accept referrals from local GPs and are providing a comprehensive service, from initial assessment to treatment and follow up appointments, all in a convenient location which is easy to reach.
“We hope the clinics will benefit our patients by reducing the distance they need to travel for treatment and bringing services closer to home.”
The extra clinics are available to both new and follow up patients who can opt to have their consultation at Haverhill when they are referred by their GP. Patients who are already being seen at West Suffolk can ask to switch to Haverhill.