The Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) Rheumatology service cares for outpatients with systemic inflammatory conditions and musculoskeletal diseases, including problems with their joints, muscles or bones.

The service provides patients with access to great quality care closer to home, without loss of access to tertiary services, and allowing ease of transfer of patients between the sites.

At RPH the specialty clinics are inflammatory arthritis, metabolic bone, giant cell arteritis clinic, Connective Tissue Disease clinic and musculoskeletal ultrasound clinic.

The Fast Track Giant Cell Arteritis Clinic is a new service established to streamline rapid outpatient Rheumatology assessment and management of patients with suspected Giant Cell Arteritis. The aim is to avoid unnecessary inpatient admission whilst ensuring gold standard investigation and care of these patients. It is modelled on successful European models that have demonstrated improved healthcare outcomes and cost effectiveness.

We hold outpatient clinics on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday each week. Rapid Access referrals for Giant Cell Arteritis are seen on Tuesday mornings and Friday afternoons.

For patients attending the Rapid Access Giant Cell Arteritis Clinic, please download the patient information flyer (PDF 270KB) for appointment and location information.

Information for referring practitioners

Urgent Rheumatology outpatient referrals

For urgent outpatient appointment referrals or advice, referring practitioners can telephone 9224 2244 and ask to page the on-call Rheumatology Registrar (or consultant after hours).

Rapid Access Giant Cell Arteritis Clinic

Please refer patients meeting the following criteria to the Rapid Access Giant Cell Arteritis Clinic:

  1. Age > 50
  2. Suspected Giant Cell Arteritis e.g. new headache, jaw claudication, scalp sensitivity, tenderness over the temporal arteries, fevers, visual disturbance. 
    Please note: If there are any associated visual symptoms e.g. transient or persistent loss of vision, this may necessitate urgent transfer to the Emergency Department for further assessment as urgent ophthalmology review and i.v. methylprednisolone +/-  inpatient admission may be required.
    Please contact the RPH Rheumatology Registrar (in hours) or Rheumatology Consultant (after hours) via RPH Switchboard on 9224 2244 to discuss case.
  3. No other diagnosis is more likely
  4. Within Fiona Stanley Hospital or Royal Perth Hospital catchment
  5. Patient has been discussed with Rheumatology at Royal Perth Hospital

To refer

  1. Call rheumatology registrar (in hours) or consultant (out of hours) via RPH Switchboard on 9224 2244
  2. Discuss whether to start steroids
  3. Complete Rapid Access Giant Cell Arteritis Clinic Referral form (PDF 300KB) and fax request to 6477 5199 or email RPH.OutpatientReferrals@health.wa.gov.au. Please ensure details are fully completed
  4. Give the patient the GCA Clinic appointment form (attached to referral form), with the relevant next clinic appointment box ticked so the patient knows when to attend RPH (Rheumatology will advise during phone call in step 1.).

Routine outpatient referrals

Routine referrals to the Rheumatology Clinic are made via standard outpatient referral forms (external link) to:

Central Referral Service (external link)
Address: GPO Box 3462, Midland WA 6056
Fax: 1300 365 056

For further information please see routine referrals to RPH Outpatients.

Last Updated: 01/07/2022