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Arthritis South Australia will fund the state’s first dedicated Rheumatology Nurse

As the number of children with arthritis rises and demand grows, Arthritis South Australia has moved to fund a dedicated paediatric rheumatology nurse. There are currently 600 – 700 children diagnosed with arthritis in South Australia and delaying treatment impacts heavily on children.

The nurse will be based at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and will act as support for the state’s only paediatric rheumatologist. Arthritis SA CEO, Julie Black, said the need for the specialist was growing.

“It can take up to fist months for parents to get in to see the specialist,” said Ms Black. “Under the national guidelines they believe that you should be seen within about a month because children are growing, their bones are changing, so they sooner they can be seen the better.”

Ms Black said the nurse would be a direct support for parents. “It’s about having someone who can triage what’s going on, to be able to be at the end of the phone to talk to a parent,” said Ms Black.

It is also hoped that having a specialist nurse will result in sick children spending less time in hospital.

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