NOTE: By submitting this form and registering with us, you are providing us with permission to store your personal data and the record of your registration. In addition, registration with the Medical Independent includes granting consent for the delivery of that additional professional content and targeted ads, and the cookies required to deliver same. View our Privacy Policy and Cookie Notice for further details.

You can opt out at anytime by visiting our cookie policy page. In line with the provisions of the GDPR, the provision of your personal data is a requirement necessary to enter into a contract. We must advise you at the point of collecting your personal data that it is a required field, and the consequences of not providing the personal data is that we cannot provide this service to you.

Don't have an account? Subscribe

Facilities needed for rheumatology care – Clinical Lead

By Niamh Quinlan - 14th Oct 2022

rheumatology care

Lack of facilities for rheumatology is impacting recruitment, waiting lists, and chronic disease management, the HSE National Clinical Lead for Rheumatology has told the Medical Independent (MI).

Speaking to MI at the recent Irish Society for Rheumatology Autumn Conference in Belfast, Prof David Kane said that while there had been a one-third increase in rheumatology consultant numbers through post-Covid initiatives, “most units find that there isn’t adequate space for all these new posts to operate optimally on their existing hospital sites.” The situation is having a “direct negative impact” on rheumatology waiting lists.

“I think [rheumatology] is a really attractive specialty for interns,” Prof Kane stated. “But like all medical specialties, the unattractive parts of it are the working conditions. We need to have good physical buildings and facilities in order to see patients to deliver good care.

“At the moment, the number one reason why my SHOs don’t come to clinic is because there isn’t a room in the clinic for them. 

“It’s the same for GP trainees. We want GP trainees to come into our department and learn how to manage patients, so that they can manage those patients in the community and that [the patients] don’t all have to come to hospital.”

According to Prof Kane, “post-pandemic, some units have lost some of their existing infrastructure to be used by acute medicine/ITU [intensive therapy unit]/ED [emergency department] as per the increased needs for those areas during the two years of the pandemic.” 

When developing new capacity, Prof Kane highlighted the need to “think outside the box”. 

“If they [rheumatology centres] can’t thrive in the acute hospital site, should they be adjacent? Should they be in community centres? The programme [for rheumatology] is trying to emphasise at a national level that unless we invest in outpatient and day care facilities nationally, we can’t increase capacity.”

While there had been “huge investment” in expanding consultant numbers and increasing acute care beds, “we need to look at better solutions with integrated care.”

Leave a Reply

Latest Issue
The Medical Independent 16th May 2023
The Medical Independent 16th May 2023

You need to be logged in to access this content. Please login or sign up using the links below.

Most Read