The rheumatology team at Watford, Hemel Hempstead and St Albans hospitals are celebrating the arrival of a new state-of-the-art portable ultrasound scanner thanks to a generous donation of £30,000 from Arthritis Care.
Arthritis Care is a national charity with a network of branches, seeking to reach out and empower people with arthritis. The charity’s Watford branch has been active for 60 years and supports people from all parts of society who have arthritis. Prior to the arrival of the new scanner, patients would have been referred to the general radiology department which performs scans for a wide range of conditions. For rheumatology patients this could mean having to wait several weeks to be seen. Now they can be assessed much more quickly which means any necessary treatment can be started earlier. Arthritis is a common condition that affects around 10 million people in the UK. It causes pain and inflammation in the joints and most people with this condition will experience pain and difficulty moving around. Arthritis is often associated with older people, but it can also affect people of all ages, including children. Samantha Jones, Chief Executive said: “I’d like to say a massive thank you to Arthritis Care for their kind donation and for their continued support of our rheumatology patients. “This donation highlights the tremendous work and support for people with arthritis that has been going on for many years between Arthritis Care and our rheumatology team. This new piece of equipment will be a great advantage to both our patients and staff.” Dr Leena Patel is a rheumatology consultant. She said: “Having this new portable ultrasound machine is invaluable to us and absolutely crucial in the early diagnosis of arthritis. “Being able to perform an ultrasound of the patient’s hands at their clinic appointment will allow earlier diagnosis, assessment and treatment. “In the longer term this will lead to better disease control, less damage to their joints and a better quality of life for them. We are so grateful to Arthritis Care for this donation as it will undoubtedly improve our patient’s care and their experience.” John Bishop is the Chairman at Arthritis Care in Watford. He said: “The partnership between Arthritis Care and the rheumatology clinicians, resulting in the funding of the scanner is a true testament of the commitment of everyone involved to offer the best possible support and treatment to people affected by the inflammatory forms of arthritis. “On behalf of Arthritis Care, it gives me much pleasure to present this ultrasound scanner to our local hospitals.” For more information about Arthritis Care visit: www.arthritiscare.org.uk or follow: @arthritis_care.