Rheumatology Clinics in Cornwall
Please do not phone any of the numbers below for advice regarding anything you have seen on this website. These numbers are strictly for appointment booking only and clinic information only. Staff manning these lines are unable to give any other advice
Please note that clinic information from Derriford Hospital will be added to the site in due course.
The main rheumatology clinic in Cornwall is at Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro where the clinic is open Monday to Friday. In addition there are clinics held at hospitals across the county. Below is a list of the hospitals where there is a rheumatology clinic and the days when they are held.
[column_half]Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust Rheumatology Clinic
Clinic held Monday – Friday
Telephone: 01872 254690
Clinic held alternate Thursday afternoons
Tel: 01209 881688
Clinic held 2nd Wednesday of each month
St. Thomas Road
Telephone: 01637 893600
Clinic held every 3 months – please call for further details
Isles of Scilly,
Telephone: 01720 422392
Clinic held alternate Wednesday afternoons
Tel: 01208 251300
Clinic held alternate Monday afternoons
Telephone: 01326 434700
Clinic held Thursday afternoons
Telephone: 01726 291100West Cornwall Hospital (Penzance)
Clinic held on Tuesday mornings
St Clare Street,
Telephone: 01736 874000
Other Rheumatology Services
Hydrotherapy, a water based therapy is a useful treatment for patients with rheumatic conditions. Most hydrotherapy pools are heated to approximately 37°C, which is much warmer than the temperature of a swimming pool. The heat helps to relax the muscles and so helps ease pain and enable easier movement. The buoyancy of the water is used to help improve joint mobility. This can be helpful for patients who are experiencing a flare and need to maintain joint movement, or for patients recovering from a flare who need to regain movement. Treatment sessions are quite short, 15 to 20 minutes, as it is easy to become quickly fatigued due to the heat and increased exercise. To see more detailed information about hydrotherapy, please visit out ‘Hydrotherapy’ page.
You may be referred to the occupational therapist or the hand therapist (a specialist physiotherapist) for advice on protecting your joints, both during a flare and in the longer term. This may include providing you with resting and/or working splints for your wrists and hands. You may also be given exercises to strengthen the supporting structures which you can do at home. You will be advised on how best to manage activities around the home and/or workplace without causing further damage to affected joints. To see more information about protecting your joints please see our page on ‘Looking after your joints’
Patients with arthritis frequently have difficulty with footwear and the orthotist or surgical appliance officer is trained provide suitable orthoses or arrange for surgical shoes to be made. For example, insoles may be provided to correct a flat foot deformity if this is causing symptoms. Other types of orthoses may be required, for examples splints.
The role of the occupational therapist (OT) is to help you to achieve and maintain maximum function, whilst avoiding damage to your joints and/or other vulnerable structures. In patients with arthritis the OT can assess activities of daily living such as washing and cooking and may suggest ways of making these easier, as well as providing you with aids or gadgets, if appropriate. The OT will explain techniques for protecting your joints and may supply you with resting or working splints for inflamed joints. To see more information about occupational therapy see our ‘Occupational therapy’ page.
Physiotherapists are health care professionals who help people resume an active and independent life both at home and at work. They are experts in assessing movement, addressing individual needs, helping to improve function, and managing pain. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect people in different ways. Physiotherapists can advise you on exercises to keep you fit and strong and how to protect your joints. If needed, they can advise on walking aids and teach you how to use them effectively. To see more about physiotherapy visit out ‘Physiotherapy Services’ and ‘Rheumatology’ pages.
Medical Day Case Unit
If you need intravenous infusions for inflammatory arthritis you may be invited to come to one of the Medical Day Case Units to have these treatments via a drip into a vein in your hand or arm. There are Medical Day Case Units at Royal Cornwall Hospital, Bodmin Hospital and West Cornwall Hospital. Depending on the infusions needed, you may be in the unit for several hours, either over a morning or afternoon, so you can be observed closely for any side effects.
On your first visit, please do not drive yourself and arrange for someone to bring you and collect you after your appointment. Often you will need to attend periodically for repeat infusions. Comfortable reclining chairs are provided and there are magazines and a television within the unit to help pass the time. You may eat and drink as normal prior to your treatment .
Prior to receiving treatment in the day unit you will have the opportunity to discuss your treatment and any possible side effects with our staff. If you are unwell at the time your infusion is due, or have any queries regarding this treatment, please telephone 01872 253848 for advice before your appointment date as your appointment may have to be postponed.
Referral to other departments
If appropriate, we may refer you to other services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and hand therapy, all of which are near to the Rheumatology Department. In addition, you may be referred to other specialities such as dermatology, respiratory medicine or orthopaedics if appropriate.