The rheumatology department at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital provides care to children and young people with juvenile arthritis and a wide range of other autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. We also treat patients with non-inflammatory musculoskeletal conditions.
We are committed to providing excellent multidisciplinary care and outcomes to our patients and we are a leading site for research into paediatric rheumatology diseases.
What we do
Children and young people may suffer a wide range of rheumatological conditions, both inflammatory and non-inflammatory. Some conditions 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. In all cases it is important to achieve an early diagnosis and begin treatment to relieve symptoms and improve outcomes for patients. We work closely with many other specialists at Alder Hey to provide accurate diagnoses and provide the highest quality of multidisciplinary care and treatment.
We provide care to children and young people from a wide geographical area in the North West of England and North Wales. Where possible we treat patients close to their home in our outreach clinics at a network of district general hospitals.
We train undergraduate medical students and postgraduate doctors in paediatric rheumatology.
We believe that patients have a right to be involved in research to address gaps in knowledge that exist about their condition. We provide children with access to clinical trials where possible to allow access to the most up-to-date treatments available. As such we are recognised nationally and internationally as a leading clinical research department.
What we treat
The Department treats children with a wide range of inflammatory conditions, including:
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)
- Systemic arthritis
- Psoriatic Arthritis
- Enthesitis-related Arthritis
- Uveitis (inflammation of the eye), working closely with paediatric ophthalmologists
- Juvenile-onset systemic lupus erythematosus
- Mixed connective tissue disease
- Behcet’s disease
- Juvenile dermatomyositis
- Scleroderma (both systemic sclerosis and localised scleroderma (morphoea)
- Systemic vasculitis
- Chronic non-bacterial osteitis
- Genetic autoinflammatory diseases, including periodic fever syndromes
The department also offers assessment and treatment to children and young people with non-inflammatory musculoskeletal conditions, including:
- Chronic musculoskeletal pain syndromes
- Mechanical disorders affecting the musculoskeletal system
We provide care to children admitted to our wards, in the out-patient clinics and in our medical day care unit. We also have regular theatre lists for joint injections under anaesthetic or under Entonox sedation.
Experimental Arthritis Treatment Centre for Children
The UK’s only ‘Experimental Arthritis Treatment Centre for Children’ (EATC4Children) was started in 2014 and is a unique organisation delivering translational research in childhood arthritis and related musculoskeletal disorders, by bringing together a network of leading specialists, patient representatives, patient groups and industry representatives. The EATC4Children works closely with the paediatric rheumatology team. This in turn aims to ensure preparedness for the trials and therapies of the future while also promoting best practice today within the rheumatology community. Our major focus is to deliver excellence in care and ensure that the research we do is always directed towards answering the priority questions patients and their families have.
Translational research is the process of turning observations in the laboratory, clinic and community into interventions that improve the health of individuals and the public — from diagnostics and therapeutics to medical procedures and behavioural changes.
Watch this animation from the EATC4Children team:
The work of the EATC4Children focuses on children and young people with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), JIA-associated uveitis, juvenile-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (JSLE), bone and bone health disorders, scleroderma and renal inflammation.
The EATC4Children is a diverse team working at the Universities of Liverpool and Sheffield, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust. They receive core funding from Versus Arthritis.
Email: [email protected]
Dr Liza McCann, Specialty Clinical Director (job-share) in paediatric rheumatology with a research interest in juvenile dermatomyositis.
Associate Professor Clare Pain, Specialty Clinical Director (job-share) in paediatric rheumatology, lead for the paediatric Behcet’s service. Honorary Clinical Associate
Professor, University of Liverpool. Associate Director, UK Experimental Arthritis Treatment Centre for Children with a research interest in clinical trials, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, scleroderma and Behcet’s.
Dr Beverley Almeida, clinical governance lead and Trust less than full time and return to training champion
Dr Gavin Cleary, Honorary Senior Lecturer University of Liverpool. Clinical co-lead JIA learn quality improvement collaborative. Special interests: JIA and uveitis;
Professor Michael Beresford, Brough Chair and Professor of Child Health, Honorary
Consultant Paediatric Rheumatologist: Director, UK Experimental Arthritis Treatment Centre for Children.
Professor Christian Hedrich
Dr Eve Smith
Clinical Nurse Specialists
Dr Sally Bell
Physiotherapy Extended Scope Practitioner
The Team have pioneered the use of digital health questionnaires, completed online by patients and integrated directly within the hospital electronic health record, to enable the views of patients be used to inform healthcare decisions.
Pathway Co-ordinator – Rheumatology
Specialty Medicine Care Group
2nd Floor Institute in the Park
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital
East Prescot Road
Internal Ext. 4521
External 0151 228 4811 Ext 4521
Fax 0151 252 5929
Email: [email protected]
Rheumatology Nurse Specialists
Direct Line – 0151 293 3556
Internal Ext. 3556/2090
Email: [email protected]
The rheumatology team accepts referrals from Primary Care (General Practitioners and colleagues) and other hospitals within the Mersey Regional and nationally.