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 1½-2 years and be able to access the phone either themselves or through a reliable advocate. Patient initiated appointments are supported by both the Royal College of Physicians and NHS England.

Patients on this scheme do not get “routine” follow up appointments but ring our Nurses Advice Line number or email and leave a message whenever they need for further advice in regards to their condition or medications. The patient or advocate is contacted at 2 years if they have not had cause to contact the department.

The patient is contacted and assessed, for example by 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 to occur 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 asked to watch a short video, have their questions answered by a member of the rheumatology team, and are given a wallet sized card and leaflet describing how the scheme works and how to contact us. This is the Direct Access Guideline

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.

Was this page helpful?

Was this page helpful?

Please answer the question below, this helps us to reduce the number of spam emails that we receive so that we can spend more time responding to genuine enquiries and feedback. Thank you.