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Rheumatology

Rheumatology at Alder HeyThe Liverpool Clinical Academic Department of Paediatric Rheumatology is based at the Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and in the Institute of Child Health, University of Liverpool.

It is recognised as one of the leading paediatric rheumatology units in the UK. It provides the highest level of specialist care to children and adolescents across the region.The department is leading in paediatric research with links to all major centres across the UK and around the world.

The senior doctors are aiming to improve the care of children and young people with rheumatic disorders.

UK’s First Ever Centre Of Excellence for Juvenile-Onset Lupus

We have recently been made the UK’s first ever “Centre of Excellence for Childhood Lupus” by LUPUS UK. (The major UK-charity supporting patients and their families with lupus) It was awarded to us as a result of the excellent clinical care combined with research to help children with lupus.

Clinical Care in Paediatric Rheumatology

We care for patients with severe chronic inflammatory conditions. Some are life-long and can have an enormous impact on the child and adolescent, as well as the wider family. Many conditions can affect different parts of the Body, are rare and difficult to diagnose. We work closely with other specialists at Alder Hey to get accurate diagnosis.

Treatments include a wide range of drugs and therapies along with an expert team.
We believe that patients have a right to be involved in research and clinical trials to address gaps in knowledge that exist about their condition. We are a leading clinical research department and provide all patients with this opportunity.

Clinical Rheumatic Disorders

  • The Department looks after children with conditions including:
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Juvenile-onset systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Juvenile dermatomyositis
  • Childhood scleroderma
  • Systemic vasculitis
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Chronic musculoskeletal regional pain syndromes as well as a wide range of other inflammatory conditions.
  • Mechanical disorders affecting the musculoskeletal system

Contact us

Please contact us via switchboard on 0151 228 4811 or call:

  • Catherine Sumner, Secretary to the Consultants: 0151 282 4521
  • Nurse specialists: 0151 293 3556
  • Clinical Rheumatology Research Nurse: 0151 252 5859
  • Physiotherapy Department: 0151 252 5236
  • Rheumatology Doctor’s bleep: (During office hours, if nurses or secretaries unavailable): via Switchboard 0151 228 4811
  • UK JSLE Cohort study & Repository: 0151 293 3566

Please note this information only gives general information. You must consult the appropriate member of staff if you wish to discuss the individual treatment of your child. Do not rely on this information alone for information about your child’s treatment.

Your comments and experiences

  • Our 13 year old son has recently been diagnosed with Juvenile Ideopathic Arthritis. Over the last few months he has been extremely poorly and this has had a huge impact on the whole family. The treatment and care that he has received since attending Alder Hey has been outstanding. His Consultant Dr. Clare Pain has been absolutely fantastic with him and she has been extremely reassuring both to our son and to the family as a whole. We have been involved at every stage of his treatment. There have been so many helpful staff who have cared for Joseph along the way. Jane Kelly – Nurse specialist has been extremely helpful and reassuring and nothing has been too much trouble. The Rheumatology team as a whole have also been extremely helpful. This has involved the secretarial staff and the nursing staff within the team. All staff on the Medical Day Care Ward have also been a source of great help. Other departments have also included the Opthalmology team, surgical day care and the radiology and the ECG Department. There are no words to explain how grateful we as a family are to all of you who have supported us through what has been a very difficult and stressful time. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We will always be extremely grateful to you all for the excellent care and compassion that you have shown to us.

  • My 5yr old boy, Seth, was admitted to our local hospital with a swollen knee and after many investigations the consultant referred him to alder hey. We had an appt very soon for the orthopaedic department and after seeing two lovely consultants they referred Seth to the rheumatology department and he was seen the same day by a lovely Consultant, Dr McCann. She examined Seth and diagnosed Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. She took the time to explain all about the condition and I was relieved to have a diagnosis and a plan. She booked him in for a steroid injection and we got an appt a few weeks later.
    On the day case unit, the nurses were all very lovely and friendly. Ian Roberts, who performed the injection took the time to explain everything and as Seth refused to have a cannula and was getting upset he requested a pre med.
    Dr Anne Hunt, the anaesthetist is an amazing person. I cannot express my thanks enough to her, she is a fantastic doctor with an expert bedside manner when dealing with children (and parents!) Seth had two wobbly bottom teeth and she thought she may have to take them out. When I went to get Seth after his injection he had two bottom teeth missing and the nurse handed me a pot with his teeth in. These were his first baby teeth to fall out. When I got back to the ward and showed Seth his teeth we noticed a £2 coin also taped to the lid. Such a kind gesture that made a little boy very happy!
    I wanted to take the time to thank all the staff and would be greatful my thanks could be passed on. Excellent care from the beginning.
    Seth is still under Dr McCann and he is very relaxed going to the hospital for check ups as she puts him right at ease while doing a thorough examination. Very reassuring for me too.

  • First visit to Dr Pain’s clinic today. So impressed with the care & support given to my daughter from Dr Pain and her team. Extremely reassuring & treated daughter with kindness and respect.

  • Great new place but need better sign post to enter for now.

  • I would like to say a huge thank you on behalf of my son who has been treated and cared for by the staff from the rheumatology department many times. The level of care is amazing and we can’t thank them enough for helping our son to deal with his arthritis. Keep up the good work guys!! Many thanks The Houghton’s

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