The Highland Rheumatology Unit

COVID-19 and HRU


We understand that patients are anxious about the COVID-19 status and how this has impacted on rheumatology services in the Highlands.

The Highland Rheumatology Unit is currently operating as a delayed discharge area to free up beds at Raigmore for understandable reasons.

So for the foreseeable future:

The HRU is closed to all patients while the COVID-19 status is active for everyone’s safety, but you can still telephone the unit if you have any questions.  The Staff are currently supporting the efforts of the NHS to curb this problem.  I’m sure you are all aware that staff are under incredible pressure at this difficult time, so please only make contact if urgent.

If patients have a flare that cannot be managed remotely, they can be added to a clinic. These clinics are very few and far between and are filled with urgent cases only. 

In the first instance please telephone the Rheumatology Helpline for Clinical questions 01463 704019 this goes to the secretaries and then a phone appointment is made for the nurses to call back.

Patients currently booked for clinics in the next six weeks will be contacted by phone to assess if they are stable, if so, your appointment will be put back on the waiting list.  If there are problems and the patient needs to be seen, then a consultant will be contacted on your behalf.

Physio, O.T and Rheumatology nurses: NO face to face appointments are allowed.

The current position is under constant review, the staff are waiting to see if they get redeployed, nothing has been arranged at the present time but other specialist nurses have been moved.

For consistent information on self isolation and social distancing the staff are guiding patients to online sources, such as Versus Arthritis, NRAS, and NASS, whose pages are being constantly updated with information.

Links are being added to the Friends of HRU face book page regularly.

The committee of Friends of HRU are available for anyone needing to chat in these trying times, please send us a PM via face book, or email us at  and someone can call you back or email you.

If you know of someone not online, then get in touch with us with a contact number and someone will call them back.

Mental health can be affected at any time, but for those in self isolation it can be an even bigger problem, so please do not suffer in silence.

Most important, everyone please stay safe, stay indoors and follow all government guidelines.

If you think you have symptoms of Covid-19 please call NHS direct on 111. Do not turn up at your GP surgery.

Remember the Unit and the nurse specialists are at the end of a phone in urgent situations.


Please find a few “additional” useful links below, including information on biologics. (There are lots of links within links in these web pages)

NHS 111: check if you have coronavirus (Covid-19) symptoms and advice


Versus Arthritis: What is coronovirus (Covid-19), and where to get information?


NRAS: Coronovirus (Covid-19) and what we know so far.

Q & A section.  Important up to date information.


NASS: Covid 19 Advice. Biologic information.


Versus Arthritis: Covid-19 support and useful resources.

To speak to an adviser: You can call our free Helpline on 0800 5200 520, or email (Mon-Fri 9am – 6pm).

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