The South East region has an active research community and also takes part in peer review and multidisciplinary networking opportunities.

Clinician representative/RCP regional specialty advisor: Luke Sammut
AHP/nurse/pharmacist/psychologist or physician associate representative:
Paediatric and adolescent representative: vacant
Trainee representative: vacant

Geographical area coveredIsle of Wight, Hampshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, South Buckinghamshire, Medway, Kent and Sussex

More information

Where rheumatology services are delivered
Medway Maritime Hospital, Darent Valley Hospital, Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital and Sheppey Community Hospital, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Hove polyclinic, Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, Conquest Hospital, Eastbourne District General Hospital, Kent and Canterbury Hospital, William Harvey Hospital and St Mary’s Hospital, Maidstone Hospital, The Tunbridge Wells Hospital. Specialised centres for tertiary rheumatology referral are established at the larger university centres, located in Southampton and Oxford. Secondary care rheumatology departments are located in the main acute medical hospital trusts, including: St Mary's Hospital, IOW; Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth; University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust; Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester; Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, Basingstoke; Salisbury District Hospital; Christchurch and Royal Bournemouth Hospitals; Poole General Hospital; Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading; Wexham Park Hospital, Slough; Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury; Great Western Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Swindon and the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford.

This region has a large number of hospitals providing a mixture of traditional hospital-based rheumatology services, community-based working departments and tertiary referral centres. There's an active research community which participates in regional meetings and has started the peer review programme. Many units are involved in the NEIAA.

Where specialist training takes place
There are two teaching hospitals, the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford and University Hospital Southampton. Undergraduates from Oxford, Southampton and the London medical schools are taught at units across the region. There are active postgraduate education programmes in rheumatology centred around the Wessex (south) and Oxford (north) deaneries. There are 12 training posts for specialty trainees in rheumatology within the Wessex Deanery. The current Wessex Training Programme Director is Prof Elaine Dennison (University Hospital, Southampton). There are 12 training posts for specialty trainees in rheumatology within the Oxford Deanery. The current Training Programme Director is Dr Richard Stevens (Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury). The majority of trainees across both deaneries are now dual accrediting in rheumatology/GIM.

There's a mixed training scheme with both pure rheumatology and dual training in general (internal) medicine. There are many research opportunities. Sites which have SpR training include Medway Maritime Hospital, Maidstone Hospital, Tunbridge Wells Hospital, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Eastbourne District General Hospital and QEQM Hospital.

Trainees are encouraged to enrol in the rheumatology MSc administered and run through Kings College Hospital. This is a two-year programme mapped to cover knowledge required to pass both the MSc exam and the SCE in rheumatology. It also introduces students to research methodology and how to conduct a literature search and write a topic review. This covers the first two years of regional teaching and is open to those not enrolled on the MSc, who will be expected to pay a nominal charge through their study leave budget to attend the training days.

As trainees get more senior, they attend six regional study days organised through South London/HEKSS which cover a wide range of subject matter both within the rheumatology curriculum and within the sphere of more generic skills such as interview techniques and time management. These take place every two months.

HEKSS/South London run three extra training courses – one on ultrasound technique through Kings College hospital and two study days at Brighton medical School on joint injection technique (Upper and Lower limb). These are unique in their design and content and have been very highly rated by trainees. The joint injection days involve introduction to theory, practice through videos and models and then sessions within the Department of Anatomy with study of basic anatomy and joint injection geography using cadaver specimens. All three of these courses are free to trainees.

Regional activities
  • South Central hold two regular active clinical forums in the region
  • Wessex Regional Rheumatology Meetings take place quarterly at the Wessex Deanery in Otterbourne
  • Wessex Clinical Services Committee meetings are held twice a year alongside the STC meetings and focus on local clinical and governance issues
  • Oxford Regional Meetings occur monthly as half day meetings in Oxford itself, with quarterly full day meetings hosted by the remaining units in rotation. Predominantly clinical but also training and governance issues are discussed at these meetings, which include parallel sessions for regional trainers, allied health professionals and trainees
  • In Kent, Medway and Sussex, a regional meeting takes place every four months