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Petition Tag - rheumatology
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory condition of the spine which produces pain and stiffness through adult life. It usually begins in the teens or early twenties and affects more men than women. There are around 200,000 people diagnosed with AS in the UK. It is currently incurable and one third of people with AS are unable to work because of their condition.
The only one of its kind in Scotland, the Highland Rheumatology Unit in Dingwall provides unparalleled inpatient and outpatient care for people suffering from inflammatory acute & chronic joint disease as well as other severe joint and bone conditions. The Unit transforms the lives of people, allows them to remain independent and have less of a need to call on GPs' time and that of other local services.
The following services are all provided under the one roof: Specialist Physiotherapy, Hydrotherapy, Orthotics, Podiatry, Dietician, Dermatology Nurses, Specialist Occupational Therapy, X-Ray, Dexa Scan, Inpatient Treatment & Outpatient Clinics. Biologic/Rheumatology Specialist Nurses, Education, Injection Therapy, Intravenous Infusions and Consultant ward rounds.
This all provides an holistic approach to management of systemic conditions for patients and are provided by remarkable, caring staff. They continue to provide this despite the fact that five nurses who retired have not been replaced.
NHS Highland is now considering making cuts which in one form or another, will drastically reduce such care for thousands of people. Arthritis may be thought of as an illness affecting elderly people but there is a large and increasing number of young people suffering and requiring long term care. It can hit anyone at any time. NHS Highland is suggesting that the concentrated, invaluable care that is provided at the Unit could, perhaps, be provided by GPs and other community health professionals. Their resources are already fully stretched. They do not have the specialist knowledge to ensure that up-to-date treatment is given.
Excellent specialist services are usually provided in large towns and cities but here in the rural Highlands, with our challenging geography, we have a brilliant, unique service that should be cherished. NHS Highland should be praising and expanding the Unit, rather than reducing it. Many people want to fight cuts. In addition to this petition, we have an email address: firstname.lastname@example.org to which you can send support for our campaign.