Rheumatology Specific Condition Information & Specialist Clinics

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)

We offer dedicated multi-disciplinary clinics with physiotherapy and specialist nurses.

A well established number of patients on newer therapies including Anti-TNF therapy.

For more information about AS and different treatments see: www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/ankylosing-spondylitis/

NASS Bristol (National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society) has been running groups from Southmead Hospital since 1998. Since March 2020, we moved to online stretch sessions due to COVID-19.

We run physiotherapist-led online stretch sessions every Monday afternoon at 1pm and on Wednesday evening at 6:30pm.

If you’re interested in joining in, we ask you to email and we will send you a medical questionnaire for you to complete before starting the session.

Find out more at https://nass.co.uk/in-your-area/nass-bristol/

Connective Tissue Disease Vasculitis

There are dedicated clinics at Southmead Hospital Bristol for new and follow up patients. The service is run by Dr Harsha Gunawardena, Dr Lynsey Clarke and Dr Sam Patel supported by specialist nurse and pharmacist.

We have experience in management of all autoimmune connective tissues diseases such as:

We take referrals from GPs and other hospital doctors (tertiary referral) for the more complex cases requiring high level expertise, such as inflammatory muscle disease, systemic sclerosis, and vasculitis.

We prescribe advanced therapies only available at a specialist centre including cyclophosophamide and Rituximab at our daycase unit. 

For more information about different treatments: https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/treatments

Combined clinics with other specialist centres and specialties including Respiratory medicine (interstitial lung disease) and Royal Free Scleroderma service for complex conditions.

Combined clinics

Respiratory CTD Lung ILD Combined Clinic

Week 1 and 3: Dr Adamali and Dr Barratt and Dr Harsha Gunawardena for patients with lung disease secondary to autoimmune connective tissue disease or vasculitis.

Royal Free North Bristol systemic sclerosis outreach clinic

Held every 6 months with Professor Chris Denton and Dr Voon Ong of the Royal Free Hospital, London and Dr Harsha Gunawardena for patients with complicated systemic sclerosis (scleroderma).

Combined Rheumatology and Neurology neuromuscular metabolic bone disease clinic

Held every three months with Dr Emma Clark and Dr Andria Merrison


We hold a specialised osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease clinic at Southmead Hospital Bristol with Professor Tobias and Dr Emma Clark.

We have a DEXA scanner (to measure bone density) at Southmead Hospital Bristol. We often do an additional scan as part of standard DXA scans to look at the spine for vertebral fractures (VFA). We have good links with our radiology colleagues and can offer vertebroplasty if it is required.

We also have two dedicated osteoporosis specialist nurses.

Specialist therapies such as Denosumab injections and Zoledronic acid infusions are administered on the medical day care unit.

Take out link above link in ‘specialist therapies’

The Royal Osteoporosis Society has up to date information on understanding osteoporosis, the treatments available, information on exercise diet and lifestyle, and local support in your area, visit theros.org.uk/information-and-support/

We have close ties with the physiotherapists, elderly care services and the falls services.

Our fracture liaison service is led by Dr Karen Harding and Dr Katherine Walsh, who are orthogeriatricians assisted by a specialist nurse. The service is designed to identify new patients of 50 years and over who have sustained low trauma fractures injuries (equivalent to fall from head height or less). 

The nurse offers telephone follow up to patients with a high risk of future fracture to assess adherence and tolerability of bone protection medication. Where patients have not started treatment or there are medication issues they will be contacting patients to help resolve any issues.

Further information can be found on the Versus Arthritis Website visit www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/osteoporosis/

Giant Cell Arteritis

We have a Rapid Access “Hot” Clinic for people suspected to have giant cell arteritis (GCA) with referrals from GPs and also within secondary care.

You will have an urgent appointment arranged and a temporal artery ultrasound carried out.  A further follow up will be planned if Giant Cell Arteritis is diagnosed.

For more information visit www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/giant-cell-arteritis-gca

Rheumatology Specific Condition Information & Specialist Clinics