Regional peer review scheme, monthly postgraduate meetings, North West Rheumatology Club meetings, mentoring and more are the main activities in the North West.

Clinician representative/RCP regional specialty advisor: Chandini Rao
Pharmacist representative: Rebecca Heaton
Paediatric and adolescent representative: vacant
Trainee representative: Anastasia Madenidou

Geographical area covered: Cheshire and Greater Manchester, up through Lancashire towards the Lake District in Cumbria, Greater Merseyside, including Liverpool, Sefton and the Wirral

More information

Where rheumatology services are delivered
There are a large number of hospitals providing a mixture of traditional hospital-based rheumatology services, community-based working departments and tertiary referral centres. Regional tertiary subspecialty areas, primarily delivered by Salford Royal and Central Manchester, include vasculitis, lupus, myositis, scleroderma and Behçet's disease.

Health and social care has been devolved in Greater Manchester and there has been some reorganisation of services with the merger of many Trusts in the region.

Services are also delivered at The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals (RLBUH), Whiston and St Helen's Hospitals (WStH), University Hospital Aintree (UHA), Wirral University Teaching Hospital, Warrington and Halton Hospitals, Countess of Chester Hospital, Southport and Ormskirk Hospitals and Leighton Hospital (Crewe).

The North West region is home to the BSRBR and the Arthritis Research UK Epidemiology Unit and with close links to the Universities of Manchester and Lancaster. There is an active research community which participates in a regional audit programmes and peer review. Many units are involved in both national and international research projects.

Where specialist training takes place
There's a mixed training scheme with pure rheumatology and dual training in general (internal) medicine. The Master’s degree in clinical rheumatology run by the University of Manchester attracts rheumatology trainees and doctors from other specialties.

Training also takes place at Aintree University Hospital, with tertiary and specialised services also delivered at RLBUHT and Chester. Undergraduate students from Liverpool University are taught at the majority of sites in the Mersey area.

A number of teaching opportunities are available within the region. This includes a monthly Manchester rheumatology afternoon, with dedicated trainee teaching beforehand, hosted by different departments on a rota basis, but also includes presentations from an expert guest speaker.

Trainees have an opportunity to present audit and research projects at a dedicated annual meeting and they can also present at regional meetings. Many local units also host teaching days throughout the year.

Regional activities
  • North West Rheumatology Club, twice yearly meetings, where attendees can present work, discuss research and network with other colleagues. Meetings include dedicated sessions for trainees, educators and allied health professionals
  • Monthly regional rheumatology postgraduate meetings
  • Regional high-cost drugs and specialised commissioning group meets three times a year to coordinate the development of regional pathways and business cases with commissioners in the Mersey area
  • Regional peer review scheme
  • National Early Inflammatory Arthritis Audit
  • Biologic optimisation group (Manchester), which is also a forum allowing discussion of regional guidelines and also mentoring schemes for trainees and newly-appointed consultants