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Service Details

Rheumatology - Stockport

Contact Information

Call the secretarial team:

Tel. Secretaries 0161 419 4702


Opening Times:  9.00am - 4.30pm

About Our Service

We provide evidence based diagnostic services, treatment initiation and ongoing support for patients with a variety of rheumatoid conditions using a range of diagnostics including clinical assessment, imaging (x-ray, MR, ultrasound and other), and blood and urine tests. We also provide administration of joint and IM steroid injections.

We provide appointments for new patients in a clinic outpatient setting. Patients are then followed up, as indicated, in Medical led, Specialist nurse led and Pharmacist led clinics.

We work predominantly in the outpatient setting, in Out Patient Department A (and occasionally B), the Marjorie Warren Unit and Day Hospital (both of which are within the Department of Medicine for Older People).

Ward patients can also be seen for rheumatology reviews.

We work closely with specialist rheumatology Physiotherapy and Occupational therapy colleagues as well as Orthotics, Podiatry, other medical specialties, Pain clinics; pharmaceutical delivery companies (Alcura and Healthcare @ Home) and we have X-ray and scanning facilities on site. We provide additional information for patients, carers and families, in an informal setting, through our patient Education/self-management Programme. The Trust also links into the Expert patient programme, a 6 week course, for patients with long term health conditions.

We provide an advice line service and an answerphone message can be left 24 hours a day and will be responded to by a member of our team.

We work closely with GPs and other providers to ensure quality personalised care for our patients.

Consultants are Dr Abbas Ismail and Dr Qasim Akram (located on the ground floor), Dr Charlotte Filer and Dr Louise Mercer (both located on the third floor.)

Our Expertise

Joint injections.

US guided diagnostics in clinic (service in development)

Dedicated early inflammatory arthritis and giant cell arteritis clinics

Treatment initiation clinics, including Biologics

Metabolic Bone Disease and Osteoporosis clinics

Follow up clinics

Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy - Our chartered and registered physiotherapists and state registered occupational therapist are experts in human movement and how this relates to functional ability. They have professional training in anatomy and biomechanics. They offer a hospital-based service at Stepping Hill Hospital.

Patients who are admitted under the care of the rheumatologists can be seen as in-patients by the physiotherapist and occupational therapist.

Patients can also receive rheumatology therapist interventions in the day hospital, based in the Marjory Warren Unit.

We offer outpatient physiotherapy and occupational therapy treatments, operating mainly from the outpatient therapy department on the ground floor of the hospital or using treatment rooms in the in-patient therapy are on the first floor (B Corridor). Treatments are also carried out in the hydrotherapy area.

Clinical Research

The Rheumatology department is currently recruiting patients to a number of studies. These studies are currently across rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Participation is, of course, voluntary, and does not affect the care given to patients.

24 hour access to a Nurse Advice line

The aim of the rheumatology telephone advice line service (the number of which is provided to patient’s at initial consultation)is to provide advice and support for patients with rheumatological conditions attending Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport.

The advice line is not an emergency service.

If you require urgent medical advice patients must contact their GP surgery or attend their local accident and emergency department. The advice line is an answer phone service. A senior rheumatology nurse will listen to the messages each day after 1pm with a target to return all calls within 1-2 working days. This service is available to patients who attend the rheumatology department at Stepping Hill Hospital. Patients are given and information leaflet with information on how to use this service and the contact details.


Links to further Information on specific Rheumatology conditions can be found by following the link.

Psoriatic Arthritis http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/conditions.aspx

Ankylosing Spondylitis http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/conditions.aspx

Early Inflammatory Arthritis http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/conditions.aspx

Rheumatoid Arthritis http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/conditions.aspx

Lupus / SLE http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/conditions.aspx

Connective tissue disorders http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/conditions.aspx

Osteoporosis http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/conditions.aspx

Polymyalgia Rheumatica http:/ http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/conditions.aspx

Giant Cell Arteritis http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/conditions.aspx

Palindromic Rheumatoid Arthritis http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/conditions.aspx



What if I can’t attend my appointment?

Please ring the hospital appointment number, this should be on your letter, on 0161 419 4010 to request another appointment. By doing this we can give that time slot to another patient, ensuring an efficient service.

What if I become unwell out of hours?

If it is an emergency you should contact your GP, out of hour’s service through your GP practice or A+E. You will already have the nurse advice line information leaflet and number and can leave a message regarding non urgent queries on the 24 hour answering machine.

Do I really need my blood checking in accordance to the blood monitoring advice?

Yes, we need to ensure that the drugs you are taking are not interacting with other medications and causing harm. The easiest way for us to do this is through regular blood monitoring. Different drug therapies have different requirements for testing dependant on potential side effects. Delays in blood testing can result in a delay is issuing ongoing prescriptions, which in turn can mean a gap in you receiving your treatment. 

What if my appointment is months away and my symptoms worsen?

You should follow the advice given to you by your specialist nurse or Doctor with regards to contacting the Nurse Advice line. This is not an emergency service and urgent problems should go through the GP, out of hour’s services or A+E


Can I get pregnant on my medication?

You will need to discuss this with your Consultant, Specialist nurse or the Rheumatology Pharmacist. Advice will depend on the drug therapy you are receiving.

If you think you may be pregnant then contact the Department immediately.

Rheumatology 01614194702


How to Use the Service

Patients are referred in by their GP’s

New and existing patients are seen in one of the Consultant Clinics, Specialist Nurse Clinics or Pharmacist led clinics.

Regularity of appointments will depend on a patient’s diagnosis and condition.

Most patients will have the option of attending a patient education programme; this is usually set over 2 evenings/afternoons. Patients can be entered onto a database and contacted when new dates become available. If you and carers/ family members are interested in this you can register your interest by either:-


© Stockport NHS Foundation Trust 2024. Stepping Hill Hospital, Poplar Grove, Stockport, SK2 7JE. 0161 483 1010