Rheumatology patients at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust will now be able to have treatment closer to home as new clinics begin in Okehampton and Honiton hospitals this month. Both hospitals will hold three appointment-only clinics each month allowing patients access to services closer to home and enabling the RD&E to reduce wait times.
Rheumatology clinics are already taking place in community hospitals across Devon including Crediton, Tiverton, Exmouth, Axminster and Seaton, where they have been extremely well received. A further two clinics per month will take place in Exmouth and Axminster. The new clinics in Okehampton have been made possible thanks to close partnership working with Okehampton Health Partnership.
Fred Cock, Divisional Director, Surgical Services at the RD&E, said: “Rheumatology has been working closely with the Community Services to make health care services safe, sustainable and able to meet the future needs of our local population.
“We want to do more to improve the care people receive and how and where they receive it. We have listened to patients, GP’s and community groups that people want their care delivered out of the hospital and in local communities and therefore with the expansion of the Consultant team we are excited to make this a reality for Rheumatology by offering new and follow up appointments. This in turn, will provide Rheumatology capacity at the RD&E which will reduce the waiting times for patients coming to the RD&E.”