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Mile End hospital in key trials to discover arthritis cure

PUBLISHED: 14:26 01 July 2008 | UPDATED: 13:24 05 October 2010

NURSES who treat sufferers are being put to the test by trying out their expertise on patients in London’s East End. The trials for sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis are being carried out at Mile End Hospital to compare clinics led by consultant rheumatologists and those run by specialist nurses. NHS bosses are looking at which treatment is more effective.

Gemma Collins

NURSES who treat arthritis sufferers are being put to the test by trying out their expertise on patients in London's East End.

The trials for sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis are being carried out at Mile End Hospital to compare clinics led by consultant rheumatologists and those run by specialist nurses.

NHS bosses are looking at which treatment is more effective.

The three-year-trial, funded by a £200,000 grant from Arthritis Research Campaign medical charity, is taking place at 11 centres around the country including Miler End.

Each centre is taking on 22 patients, half of whom will be under the care of nurses and the other half under the care of doctors.

The outcome is being followed up and compared each year, taking into account the volunteers' overall health, swollen and tender joints and inflammatory markers in the blood. Secondary outcomes will be measured by questionnaires which patients complete at home.

"We are not saying that we think that nurses are any better," said Tower Hamlets' lead rheumatology nurse Debbie Chagadama.

"It may be that nurses do some things better and doctors do other things better. We need both.

"The aim of the trials is to determine whether nurse-led clinics are clinically and cost effective.

So the trials at Mile End have been arranged to compare them to the medical clinics run by a consultant rheumatologist.

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