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About us

In 2004, the network undertook a comprehensive survey of paediatric rheumatology service provision in the West Midlands, which demonstrated a wide variation. Access to essential allied health professionals (clinical nurse specialists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists) was found to be particularly inequitable.

The network involves four centres: Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Coventry / Nuneaton and Stoke-on-Trent.

The main aims of the network are to:

  • Address current inequalities in provision of care to children with rheumatological problems;
  • Ensure a patient and family centred approach to service development and provision of resources;
  • Develop model(s) of care and care pathways (s) for patients, with agreed minimum standards;
  • Facilitate the development of the network by liaison with commissioners and public health doctors;
  • Promote awareness and education amongst the range of professionals who see children & young people with rheumatic disease.

The main areas currently being focussed on include:

  • Developing standards of care and referral pathway guidelines
  • Increasing the involvement of the parents of children, and the children themselves. The Network organise an Annual Parents' Day, entitled 'Rheum for Improvement'.  The fifth such event was held in February 2011.
  • Ensuring a consistent approach to the provision of drugs and home delivery services.

Terms of Reference

In order to progress its aims the network is working in conjunction with commissioners for children's services and public health doctors. 

The network is supported by the organisation 'Partners in Paediatrics'.

Network Lead Clinicians are

  • Chair of the Network is Dr Kathy Bailey, Consultant Paediatrician & Paediatric Rheumatologist at the George Eliot Hospital - tel. 02476 865 23
  • Vice Chair is Dr Clive Ryder, Consultant Paediatric Rheumatologist at Birmingham Children's Hospital - tel. 0121 333 8208