Who is catered for at the Rheumatology Clinics?
At the Rheumatology Clinics priority is given for the assessment and treatment patients with inflammatory arthritis and connective tissue diseases. Examples of the conditions we prioritise include Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA), Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), Lupus, Scleroderma and Vasculitis.
We also see patients and provide a management plan to patients with other bone and joint related problems such as osteoarthritis but these are seen on our routine list.
How can I contact the Rheumatology Department?
The Rheumatology secretaries are contactable on 01 414 3350 on Monday-Friday.
How can a new referral appointment be arranged?
Patients need a letter from their General Practitioner (GP) or referring doctor/health professional. We also accept appointments from other consultants and from the Emergency Department. For further information on referring patients please refer to the Healthcare Professionals section of the site.
For Patients with Early Inflammatory Arthritis GPs can download in our Early Arthritis Referral Form here and forward it to us together with a referral letter.
Before your appointment you will receive a letter. You may be asked to attend for blood tests or x-rays in advance of your appointment so that these results will be available on the day you see the doctor. This is done in order to avoid further delays for you.
If you have had x-rays or scans done at another hospital then it is important that you bring the actual films (or a CD of them) with you. You can use your appointment letter from us in order to obtain them from the hospital/clinic where you had them done.
How can a return appointment be arranged?
Patients seen at our clinics who have non-inflammatory joint symptoms are usually discharged without return appointments once a management plan is in place. If you have an inflammatory condition however and you do not have a return appointment arranged, or if you would like to find out the time of your next appointment please contact the Rheumatology team at 01 414 3350
What should I do if I am going to be late or can't attend for my outpatient appointment?
On the day of your appointment, if a patient is going to be late for an appointment please call the clinical area on 01 414 4778. We will be able to tell them if they can still attend. If you know that you are going to be unable to attend in advance of your appointment you must let us know in advance on 01 414 3350 so we can cancel your slot and reschedule you for another. If they make contact after a clinic has occurred we cannot guarantee an appointment will be given.
Who Can I contact about my Day Hospital Appointment?
If you are attending the day hospital for a treatment at Tallaght University Hospital and you need to speak to someone or if you need to changes to your admission date please call 01 414 4363.
How do I get prescription refills?
For most rheumatology medications your GP will be able fill out a repeat prescription if your existing prescription runs out between appointments. For patients receiving a biological drug by injection a special prescription is filled out by the doctor at the rheumatology doctor at the rheumatology clinic. If you are receiving a biological drug, please ensure that you will have an adequate prescription supply to cover you before your next appointment.
Who do I call if I am feeling unwell between appointment between appointments?
If you are feeling unwell between appointments the most common causes of this are either that you may be suffering from a form of infection, or you are experiencing a flare of your inflammatory disease.
Signs of infection include fevers, shivers and sweating. Other signs of infection include a worsening cough with green sputum or pain on passing water. If you begin to experience these symptoms please seek medical attention from your GP. If you are on specific anti-rheumatic medication for inflammatory disease your GP should perform basic blood tests to make sure your blood count is not low.
Symptoms of a flare of inflammatory arthritis include worsening fatigue, loss of energy, reduced appetite, and increased pain and stiffness in your joints along with increased swelling. If you are experiencing a flare of your arthritis, this can be helped with rest or by taking anti-inflammatory or analgesic pain relieving medications as prescribed by your doctor. An ice pack to an affected joint can also help. If your flare lasts for more than two weeks, then you should contact your GP initially for treatment.