Last Modified: 3:53pm 14/08/2023

Rheumatology Department

COVID-19 infection advice and support

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, please STOP your immunosuppressive medication until you are free of symptoms. DO NOT stop your steroids. In some circumstances symptoms are prolonged so please call our Nurse helpline if your symptoms persist longer than 10 days.

Please self-isolate and book a test as per government guidelines.

COVID-19 vaccinations

We recommend that all Rheumatology patients receive the Covid-19 vaccination.

Please note we do not arrange Covid-19 vaccinations this is arranged via your GP. You will be contacted and asked to attend in category order. For specific information regarding which category you fall into, click here.

COVID-19 and medication

For up-to-date advice regarding Rheumatology specific medications and the Covid-19 vaccination please click here.

Please stop your biologic medication for one week before and one week after you have had your vaccination.

If you are on rituximab, please contact the helpline.

Please note you are not required to stop any of the following medications when you receive the COVID vaccination:

  • Methotrexate- Oral and Injectable
  • Sulfasalazine
  • Leflunomide
  • Azathioprine
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Mycophenolate
  • NSAIDs (Naproxen/ Ibuprofen/ Diclofenac)

Steroids – please continue if already taking. However, where possible the use of steroids will be avoided within two – three weeks of the vaccine being administered in order to obtain the strongest possible immune response to the vaccine.

COVID-19 and shielding

The Rheumatology Department at Milton Keynes provides a comprehensive general and specialist rheumatology service to the local population and surrounding areas.

Following a recent expansion, the rheumatology clinical staff now comprises of five Consultants, an Advance Nurse Practitioner and two Clinical Nurse Specialists.

What we do

Rheumatology is a multidisciplinary branch of medicine that deals with the investigation, diagnosis and management of patients with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions. This incorporates over 200 disorders affecting joints, bones, muscles and soft tissues. This includes inflammatory arthritis and other autoimmune disorders, vasculitis, soft tissue conditions, spinal pain and metabolic bone disease. A significant number of musculoskeletal conditions also affect other organ systems.

In addition to the general Rheumatology Clinics we provide the following services.

Flare Management 

If you feel your Rheumatological condition if flaring please follow some of the advice suggested in the links below. If after following some of this basic advice, your symptoms do not improve then please contact our Nurse helpline.


If you would like any information regarding appointments, please call 01908 997 006.

If you require information regarding books for X-ray, MRI, CT or Ultrasound, please call 01908 995 663.


Scan results will be reported by your Rheumatology Consultant in a letter addressed to your GP, a copy of which you will receive. We cannot discuss scan results over the Nurse helpline.

You will only be contacted if your blood results are abnormal.

When to contact your GP

  • If you require a repeat prescription after the first supply from your Rheumatology Consultant/Nurse has run out.
  • If you have any signs of infection i.e fever, productive cough or unexplained pain or discomfort when you breath deeply or pass urine.
  • For cold and flu please try to mange this at home using NHS advice.
  • If you have any concerns or queries which are not related to your Rheumatological condition i.e. Diabetes, Asthma, Cholesterol and Hypertension advice.
  • If you receive antibiotics from your GP please stop your immunosuppression medication until you have completed the course and your symptoms have cleared completely.

Biologics Clinic – To improve care for people with unremitting disease, a dedicated clinic to plan and monitor treatment with this highly effective group of drugs.

Early Arthritis Service –  Providing early aggressive therapy to prevent disability and improve outcomes.

Multidisciplinary Input – Occupational therapy, physiotherapy and podiatry.

Bone Health Service – A new clinic dedicated to Osteoporosis and associated conditions, along with reporting of bone density scans and providing advice on management to GPs.


Please see below links to some societies and groups you may find useful which cover advice on rheumatology conditions and treatments, fatigue management, diet and exercise, alternative treatments, benefits and finances and mental health.

NRAS Facebook Group

We would like to inform you that there is a local branch of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society. If you use Facebook, you can join their private page: Milton Keynes NRAS GroupAlternatively, please contact [email protected]

Patient Information Leaflets

To view this ward or department’s relevant Patient Information Leaflets, please click here.


Tell us about your care

For more visitor information, including restaurants, shops, and car parking, click here.

Join as a member of MKUH

Signing up to membership of Milton Keynes University Hospital is free, and benefits include NHS discount; email newsletters; opportunities to attend membership events and participate in service improvement initiatives and surveys; and voting for your local hospital Governor and even standing as a Governor in elections. It takes 60 seconds to sign up, which you can do by clicking here.

Departmental lead

Nicola Daly

Contact Number

01908 996 602 - unmanned please leave a message


Yellow Zone - Outpatients

Car Park


Visiting hours

By appointment only

Additional Information