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News: Inner_about


BSR Conference 2023 24 - 26 April 2023

We're at the British Society for Rheumatology Annual Conference 2023 in Manchester this week.


The annual Conference is the leading rheumatology event, bringing together over 1,500 delegates for three days of learning, knowledge sharing, networking and innovation. The conference welcomes rheumatology professionals from across the UK including consultants, trainees, nurses and allied health professionals and those working in paediatric and adolescent rheumatology.


Our Nurse Consultant, Jill Firth is presenting 'A 3 year audit of dose tapering biologic medicines in a rheumatology service' and Dr James Bluett presenting on 'Strategies to optimise adherence to methotrexate'

Thank you to our admin staff 26 April 23 

Today on National Administration Professionals Day we are celebrating our wonderful admin team who all go the extra mile for our patients every day and keep the service running like clockwork.


A huge thanks to each and every one of them. 


Here is Edi one of our wonderful team who joined the service recently and is doing an amazing job!


Vita Health Group acquires Pennine MSK Partnership

Vita Health Group has acquired the flagship MSK provider, Pennine MSK Partnership, to further develop its footprint for NHS musculoskeletal (MSK) service provision throughout the UK. 10 May 22


Founded in March 2006, and with a team of 90 clinical staff, Pennine MSK Partnership specialises in orthopaedics, rheumatology and persistent pain in community settings across several sites in and around Oldham, Greater Manchester.

The acquisition further increases Vita Health Group’s care footprint, providing over 200 MSK clinicians to help people suffering with bone, joint and muscle issues across six NHS regions.

Derrick Farrell, Chief Executive Officer of Vita Health Group, commented on the acquisition: “We are absolutely delighted to join forces with Pennine MSK Partnership. We have long admired their high-quality operating model and patient outcomes and look forward to further developing this exceptional service over the coming months.”

The acquisition will allow Vita Health Group to build on its growing portfolio of NHS MSK contracts, which already include areas such as Bromley, Lambeth and Wandsworth.

Ruth Holden, Director of HR and Operations from Pennine MSK Partnership commented: “We are looking forward to working with Vita Health Group. The support and infrastructure that Vita brings will ensure that the NHS service we provide to the patients of Oldham continues to deliver high quality outcomes.”


Pennine MSK Partnership will continue to operate as normal ensuring unbroken support to the people of Oldham.

Oldham doctor develops new blood test to help arthritis patients. 25th Jul 19


Article featuring Pennine MSK’s Dr Bluett’s research from the Oldham Times.  Date published: 20 June 2019  


An Oldham based doctor, James Bluett, has developed a new blood test which could help local rheumatoid arthritis patients to better manage their illness by keeping to their medication regimes.

Methotrexate is the most commonly prescribed drug for the 400,000 people in the UK suffering from this autoimmune disease. Around 40% of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients do not take the drug as prescribed and, currently, clinical staff have no way of knowing whether a patient is taking their medication as advised.

Thirty-eight year old, Dr Bluett practises at the borough’s Pennine MSK Partnership which provides care for patients in orthopaedics, rheumatology and chronic pain. He is also a researcher for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Manchester Biomedical Research Centre and a Clinical Senior Lecturer at The University of Manchester. The new test, developed, refined and assessed over 4 years, measures the methotrexate levels in a patient’s blood over the previous seven days. The final research results from 138 RA patients showed that the test has a 95% sensitivity in detecting whether someone took their methotrexate in the preceding week. The initial evaluation of the blood test’s effectiveness was carried out in the NIHR Manchester Clinical Research Facility with 20 patients from the North West. Dr Bluett said, “Patients may not take their methotrexate as prescribed for several reasons, Methotrexate is a weekly treatment, taken over a long period and can have side effects. Non-adherence means the drug won’t work as effectively and risks a patient’s condition worsening. Our new marker will enable doctors to start supportive conversations with patients about the difficulties they may be experiencing with the medication and how to resolve them.” Dr Bluett was appointed as a consultant at the specialist musculoskeletal service, on New Radcliffe Street, in April 2018.

The service, commissioned by NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group, receives nearly 15,000 new referrals a year, mainly from local GPs and provides long term support for nearly 1,500 people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Dr Bluett’s research paper was published this month in the world’s leading rheumatology journal-the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. He said, “We need to see whether RA patients’ adherence improves when they receive feedback on their methotrexate levels. So, the next step will be a feasibility study to assess how we can gauge this in a clinical trial.

I hope this further work validates our approach which could then, after appropriate regulatory approval, be incorporated into routine clinical practice. I want to ensure the best outcomes for RA patients.”

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