Bay Navigator

Rheumatology

Referral Acceptance

Rheumatology referrals are prioritised by Senior Medical Officers based on the information contained within. Additional information should be attached where available. The priorisation tool used to triage referrals can be found below under Access Criteria.

All accepted referrals will be seen within a maximum waiting time of 4 months, unless there is a clinical reason for delay.

Please note that Arthritis New Zealand no longer has offices in the Bay of Plenty. This means they do not run group sessions anymore. Their toll free number is 0800 663 463.  

Referral acceptance is a follows:

First Specialist Assessments

Waiting priority 1

Accepted

Waiting priority 2

Declined

Waiting priority 3

Declined

Waiting priority 4

Declined

Access Criteria

Category Criteria Examples (not an exhaustive list)

1 - Urgent

  • Acute Rheumatological Emergencies with
    treat to life or major
    organs
  • Giant Cell arteritis
  • Systemic Vasculitis
  • SLE
  • Septic arthritis
  • Polyarticular gout and systemically unwell

2 - Semi-Urgent

  • Potential destructive inflammatory arthritis
    requiring early DMARD treatment or
    corticosteroids
  • Seropositive RA
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica
  • Polyorticular gout
  • Inflammatory polyarthritis

3 - Routine

  • Suspected inflammatory rheumatological
    problems
  • Non-inflammatory
    conditions with major
    social impact (e.g. loss of employment)
  • Referrals from hospital specialist
  • Acute soft tissue problems requiring intervention

4 - Non-Urgent

  • Non-inflammatory disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Soft Tissue Rheumatism
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Other chronic pain syndromes
  • Chronic osteoarthritis


Note: 
Children are usually managed by Paediatricians with referral to Rheumatologists or a Paediatric Rheumatologist as required.