Arthritis sufferers being sought

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Arthritis sufferers from Londonderry are being asked to join new advisory groups aimed at increasing understanding of the condition.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) patients and Ankylosing Spondylitis patients are being invited to come along to an information evening on Thursday (April 2) at the C-TRIC Building, Altnagelvin Hospital, Londonderry from 6.45pm to 8pm.

Dr Philip Gardiner, Western Trust Consultant Rheumatologist said: “We really need to hear about patients own personal insight into their conditions, as this will help us to design better research projects in the future.

“The Research advisory groups are made up of research staff and people with an experience of the disease who want to be actively involved in the research process, although they do not need to take part in a clinical trial. The additional knowledge we gain from patient’s experiences can help challenge assumptions, identify problems and help come up with solutions.

“For those patients who do take part in the advisory groups, we hope they will gain new skills, knowledge, support and a sense of empowerment with their condition.”

Dr Gardiner continued: “Patients will also have the opportunity to meet with representatives from NRAS and NASS and join the first of their kind patient support groups in the North West. The support groups will provide information and support for people with these conditions their families, friends and carers.”

Places are limited, therefore it is essential that patients confirm their attendance by contacting: Dawn Small, Research Nurse on Tel: 028 7161 1294, leaving your name and contact number or via email: dawn.small@westerntrust.hscni.net