The North Western region have monthly meetings, twice yearly North West rheumatology club meetings (shared with Mersey) and run by Dr Lizzie MacPhie (Preston), a regional peer review scheme, shared with Mersey and an active regional audit programme. They also have a regional biologic optimisation group and also mentoring schemes for both trainees and newly appointed consultants.
Geographical area covered:
The North West region covers a large geographical area from parts of Cheshire, Greater Manchester, up through Lancashire towards the Lake District in Cumbria.
Where rheumatology services are delivered:
We have a large number of hospitals providing a mixture of traditional hospital based rheumatology services, community based working departments and tertiary referral centres. Regional tertiary subspecialty areas, primarily delivered by Salford Royal and Central Manchester, include vasculitis, lupus, myositis, scleroderma and Bechet’s disease. Health and social care has been devolved in Greater Manchester and there has been some reorganisation of services with the merger of many Trusts within the region. We are home to the BSRBR and the Arthritis Research UK Epidemiology Unit and with close links to the Universities of Manchester and Lancaster. We have a very active research community, participate in a regional audit programmes and peer review and many units are involved in both national and international research projects.
Where specialist training takes place:
This is a mixed training scheme with both pure rheumatology and dual training in general (internal) medicine. There are many research opportunities and the Masters degree in clinical rheumatology run by The University of Manchester attracts both rheumatology trainees and doctors from other specialties. We host a number of teaching opportunities within the region. This includes a monthly Manchester rheumatology afternoon, with dedicated trainee teaching beforehand, hosted by different departments on a rota basis, but also includes presentations from an expert guest speaker. Trainees have an opportunity to present audit and research projects at a dedicated annual meeting. There is a twice yearly North West Rheumatology Club which provides a further opportunity for trainees to present their work. In addition to these, many local units host teaching days throughout the year. The chair of the training committee is Dr Chan Rao (Blackpool). The current regional chair and regional Royal College of Physicians specialty advisor is Dr Dipak Roy (Tameside).