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Research studies

Above: Sophie Birch (Core Research Nurse), Helen Bickerdike (Research Nurse), Lisa Carr (Rheumatology Clinical Trials Assistant) and Anne Gill (Research Nurse).

We are involved in a number of local, regional, national and international research studies.

You may be asked whether you would like to participate in one or more of these studies.

The York Rheumatology department has an expanding research portfolio. The research allows doctors and patients to gain access to and experience new cutting edge treatments. The research undertaken contributes to the development of our understanding of rheumatology conditions and the optimal management of our patients.

Our portfolio includes different types of studies at different stages of the research, varying from Observational studies to Clinical Trials of Investigational Medicinal products. Almost all of the research we do involves licensed and approved treatments for arthritis, but looks at using them differently or sometimes earlier looking to improve outcomes for patients. We are starting to get involved in studies using treatments not yet licensed in the UK. We hope this will allow patients in York to gain from exciting research developments in the world of rheumatology.

There are several reasons why patients may benefit from taking part in research including:

  • A new treatment may be effective in treating the condition improving day to day life.

  • May gain earlier access to treatment than those being treated routinely.

  • Participation in a Clinical Trial may bring benefit to others in the future.

  • A feel good factor that taking part in research may help find a cure for the disease.

  • May meet others suffering from the same disease whilst taking part in research. Talking with other patients experiencing similar health problems can be beneficial.

Within the York Rheumatology Research Team we have the following members:

  • Consultants

  • Research Nurse

  • Clinical Trials Assistant

  • Rheumatology Specialist Nurses

  • Rheumatology Specialist Registrar

  • Rheumatology Coordinator


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Visiting cancelled

Due to the increasing number of cases of coronavirus across the UK, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has made the decision to cancel all visiting to all its hospital sites in order to ensure the safety of patients and staff.

There are three exemptions to the ruling which are for one parent of a sick child under 18, for the partner of a woman giving birth and end of life patients at the discretion of the ward sister.

We would ask people to respect this decision and to treat our staff, who will be enforcing the visiting restrictions, with courtesy and respect.  For more information visit our website.

Outpatient appointments

We know that NHS services will come under intense pressure as the coronavirus spreads, and as a Trust we need to redirect staff, free up staff for refresher training and carry out any works as necessary, so we are able to maximise capacity for patients for when the number of infections peak.  We also need to reduce the number of people coming into our hospitals to protect our patients, as well as keeping our staff safe, well and able to come into work.

To do this, with effect from Tuesday 24 March 2020, along with other trusts in the Humber Coast and Vale partnerships, we have made the collective decision to suspend all non-urgent routine outpatient appointments for at least three months.  Urgent and emergency cases and cancer appointments will be carrying on as normal.

These are unprecedented times and we thank you for your understanding.  We know many people waiting for treatment will be disappointed or worried but please not contact the hospital as we will be contacting everyone directly affected in the coming days and weeks.

If you do not receive a letter or a phone call from the hospital, please turn up for your scheduled appointment as normal unless you have symptoms of coronavirus, a cold, flu or norovirus in which case you should contact us to cancel your appointment by clicking here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you have symptoms associated with coronavirus including a new continuous cough and a high temperature, you are advised to stay at home for 7 days.

Please do not book a GP appointment or attend your GP practice.

If you live with other people, they should stay at home for at least 14 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home.  After 14 days, anyone you live with who does not have symptoms can return to their normal routine.

But, if anyone in your home gets symptoms, they should stay at home for 7 days from the day their symptoms start. Even if it means they're at home for longer than 14 days. The most up-to-date public guidance is always online at

If your symptoms are serious, or get worse, NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need further medical help and advise you what to do.  Only call 111 direct if you are advised to do so by the online service or you cannot go online.