"My positive experiences at the rheumatology dept"

About: Royal Hallamshire Hospital

(as the patient),

It has taken me a good while to finally put my story on Patient Opinion, mostly because of how I have felt during the past couple of years of potentially facing a chronic illness, and also because writing about it means a level of acceptance.

At first due to my flitting pain in episodes that came and went, my consultant Mr Boulton thought I had reactive arthritis. He told me at my first appointment that he “would get to the bottom of it” and he along with Dr Kasmi have. It has recently been confirmed that it has developed into Rheumatoid Arthritis (positive anti-CCP test). Not the diagnosis that I was hoping for, but at least now I know what I am dealing with.

Both Doctors have shown understanding, kindness and professionalism. They have always answered all my questions without me feeling rushed at what is a very busy clinic –I trust that I am in good hands. I have also felt part of the decision making process where sometimes I opted to watch what was happening before I took longer term DMARDS. I always know to call the department if I get into trouble and we consider the next steps.

I have also come into contact with some lovely nursing staff, in particular Jim who administered a steroid injection, validating the pain and discomfort that I was in at the time I felt understood, and that I wasn’t making a fuss.

From time to time I have also needed to call the nurses helpline when having a bad flare up, and have been so impressed with the service, from the promptness that they return my calls, their support and advice.

I cannot thank Debbie and Nicky enough for their kind words and practical help at times when I have felt at my worst.

In the long term I’ll have lots more visits to the department, but for now, I just wanted to say a huge thank you to all the staff that I have come into contact with, and have treated me with respect and dignity throughout.

Thank you.

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Response from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you very much for taking the time and effort to give us your comments. Our staff are alway very grateful when patients provide us with feedback.

We are delighted to hear that you speak to highly of the team who have been looking after you, and will share your kind words with them.

Update posted by Eme (the patient)

Thank you for responding to my comments about rheumatology services.

I wanted to pubicly thank the department, and you say that this will be shared with the staff, which is great. Could you tell me how you will share my feedback with them?

Thanks again