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Survey of telephone calls to a paediatric rheumatology helpline: assessment of impact
  1. S Fountain-Polley1,
  2. P Whitworth2,
  3. N Freeman2,
  4. P Davis2,
  5. C Ryder2
  1. 1
    Bronglais District General Hospital, Aberystwyth, UK
  2. 2
    Department of Paediatric Rheumatology, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Simon Fountain-Polley, Bronglais District General Hospital, Caradoc Road, Aberystwyth SY23 1ER, UK; simon.fountain-polley{at}

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Telephone helplines have been initiated for patients suffering from a variety of chronic problems, including diabetes,1 neurological2 and rheumatological; and the professionals who care for them. They provide a continuing point of contact for easy access to advice and support in day-to-day management of disease and its effects. In Birmingham the rheumatology service operates a telephone helpline for families under active follow-up (including uveitis) and professionals. Calls are mainly received by the secretaries, with clinical nurse specialists distributing them to team members for action. Documentation on a recording sheet acts as an aide mémoire, and for clinical governance. Calls are discussed at the twice-weekly multidisciplinary team meetings or with the duty …

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