Patient quote

"Rheumatology nurses were excellent support - they phoned me regularly at first, and you need this support at times. Doctors are excellent and very approachable, excellent at listening and brilliant with children. Overall excellent service."

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Jargon buster

MRI scans

A detailed picture of internal organs of the body, produced using a magnetic field and radio waves.

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Childrens Services

Paediatric Rheumatology

The Great North Children’s Hospital Rheumatology team is the only specialist team for the investigation, diagnosis, treatment, education, and ongoing support and care of children’s rheumatic diseases in the Northern Region. We cover from the Scottish border down to North Yorkshire and across to West Cumbria.

We are an award-winning unit with an international reputation for the quality of care we provide, and our contribution to both training and national & international research

We are the only children’s rheumatology team outside London to provide autologous stem-cell treatment for children with the most severe rheumatological problems, and we have one of the UK’s largest research programmes into children’s rheumatology diseases, headed by Professor Helen Foster, one of only three professors of paediatric rheumatology in the country.

Patient-centred care film

You can watch a film with two of our Nurse Specialists talking about our young patients being more involved in the care they receive, and how they are at the centre of the services we provide.


Specialist care for all your children's healthcare needs

We provide a full range of services to treat musculoskeletal problems, such as arthritis, and many other connective tissue diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), juvenile dermatomyositis (JDMS), scleroderma and poly-arteritis nodosa (PAN). We run a rapid access clinic, which ensures that your child can be diagnosed and start their treatment as quickly as possible. Our clinic for adolescents is one of the few in the country that provides a tailor-made service for teenagers and young adults. We also run a dedicated young adult clinic for patients over the age of 18 whose disease started in childhood.

Our treatments include the most modern drug therapies with children’s nurses, paediatric physiotherapists and occupational therapists providing an all-round package of advanced paediatric care. In fact, we are the only unit in the region with a complete team of dedicated children’s specialists trained in paediatric rheumatology and encompassing medical, nursing, physiotherapy and occupational therapy professionals. 

Expert care when and where you need it

Most of our patients come from across northern England, from the Scottish borders down to North Yorkshire and across to Cumbria, but we do see patients from outside this region for more specialised treatments.

All patients are initially seen for assessment at the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle. Subsequent appointments can be in one of our outreach clinics in Carlisle, Darlington, Middlesbrough or Sunderland so you don’t have to travel as far to see one of our specialists.

More information

For more information about our service, please contact: 

  • Professor Helen Foster, Consultant Paediatric Rheumatologist
  • Tel: 0191 282 5318
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