Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases

Has anyone been to the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases in Bath? I'm considering a private consultation as they are experts in chronic pain management. I live in Hertfordshire, so it's not exactly local for me and I'm not sure if my private health insurance would cover me, so there may be a cost. I'm just really struggling with my pain and feel at the end of my tether. :(

I have a good rheum, decent rheum nurse and excellent specialist rheum physio at my local hospital and I'm on an aggressive treatment regimen. It's just become apparent that they've reached the end of what they can reasonably offer me.

I'd appreciate any responses.

11 Replies

  • I know its excellent for ankylosing spondylitis (they do a residential self management programme), but I don't know anything about other rheumatic disorders.

  • I asked my rheumatologist if i could be referred to the hospital in bath ,his reply was they will offfer me the same treatment as i,m already getting,there,s no answer to that.

  • I'm sure all the hospitals offer the same treatment as they follow the NICE guidelines, rather than pay why not ask your G.P to refer you to another specialist locally on the NHS for a second opinion.

    I'm in hertfordshire too. recentley diagnosed and very impressed with both the doctor and nurse i saw, gave me all the time i needed plus contact details if i need them.

  • Hi, I'm also in Hertfordshire, was just wondering where you're being seen?

  • I would say if you can possibly manage to get to Bath do it! I know somebody that goes there and they are the experts. I know that anne999 says you will only get the same treatment there, but in ever profession there are some better than others! I believe they do a lot of research there as well and so maybe you might even be offered a trial of a new treatment.

  • Hi, I'm also in Hertfordshire, was just wondering where you're being seen?

  • I will message you.

  • Maybe you should inquire about biologics. Next time i'm at my rheumy clinic i'm going ask about them. I'm a mess too and I have severe pain issues. Don't give up there are other drugs its a matter of finding what best suits you. I have failed with all the dmards i've had so far. Next stop bios. Life sucks some days but keep your chin up I'm you will get there in the end and find something that your RA will respond to.

    Best wishes


  • Many years ago I was seen at Bath but know people who go there now. I think their advantage seems to be their joined up thinking and treating you like a partner in the management of the your disease. yes, they have the same access to the same medication, but I think you might find it helpful to feel more in charge of your disease.

    They are running a self-management course with NRAS at present - which says it all!

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to reply with your kind and helpful words. I know we all have struggles, so I appreciate the support. :)

    I'm afraid I respectfully disagree with the nice thought that treatment is the same everywhere. It should be! Sadly, having been on both sides of the health and social care system, I can confidently state that it is very much a postcode lottery. I was diagnosed at a hospital who didn't even seem to have a rheum nurse or physio, let alone make me an appointment with one. I'm getting much better treatment at a hospital that is now more local to me.

    I'm on biologics; humira plus leflunomide and MTX. My biggest issue is living with the pain and disability that were caused prior to starting biological DMARDs. The anti TNFs I've tried have certainly massively slowed down the progression to very minimal amounts but a.) I'm still getting flare ups and b.) the existing damage is ruining my life. I know it sounds dramatic but I'm struggling with work, life, socialising - just everything really. I need something to change or I'm going to collapse in a heap.

  • I agree it is a postcode lottery if you get treated or not. I have never seen the same Rheumy or nurse in over a year and when first diagnosed was not told what to expect or even given a contact number if I felt poorly or drugs werent working. I had to go online to find out as much as I could. I am fed up with being fobbed off and I feel I am close to the edge.

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