Direct Access Service
Direct Access is available for people with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and a number of related conditions. People must have had their illness for more than 1½ years and be able to access the phone either themselves or through a reliable advocate.
Patients on this scheme do not get “routine” follow up appointments but ring our Nurses Advice Line number and leave a message whenever they need for further advice in regards to their condition or medications.
The patient is called back and assessed over the telephone. After receiving further information from the patient, the nurse and patient together decide how to best direct the patient. Sometimes advice is given directly over the phone but if they require a clinic appointment with either the consultant or the nurse it is scheduled for within 2 weeks.
Alternative options are the joint injection clinic or where appropriate the patient may be directed to the GP.
Prior to going on this scheme, patients are given formal education by a member of the team and through a short video. The patients given a wallet sized card and leaflet describing how the scheme works and how our contact details.
We are currently not routinely offering this service for other conditions but if you would like to know more about Direct Access and think you may be eligible then please ask at your next appointment.