Our Rheumatology department looks after people who suffer from diseases affecting their joints, bones and muscles. The service we offer covers:

  • General Rheumatology clinics
  • Inflammatory arthritis, such as Rheumatoid arthritis and Psoriatic arthritis
  • Various auto-immune conditions, such as SLE, Sjogren's Syndrome, Scleroderma and Polymyositis
  • Inflammatory back pain and Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Vasculitis such as Giant Cell Arteritis and other forms of systemic vasculitis
  • Osteoporosis and Metabolic Bone clinic

We are able to prescribe current drugs for managing inflammatory arthritis, connective tissue disease and osteoporosis. 

We also have strong links with other departments such as Radiology (x-ray) and immunology to help manage our patients' conditions.



General Rheumatology Clinics are provided at both Epsom and St Helier hospitals. 

We offer a monthly young adult clinic for patients between 16 and 24 years old. 

We offer a weekly bone clinic for metabolic bone disorders and osteoporosis. 

Nurse-led clinics support the management of patients with inflammatory arthropathies and those using biologic agents. 

Early Inflammatory arthritis Clinic for patients with suspected new onset Rheumatoid arthritis and Psoriatic arthritis with access to ultrasound


Key staff

  • Dr Fazal Sheikh, consultant rheumatologist

  • Dr Ritu Malaiya consultant rheumatologist 

  • Dr Kevin Tsoi, consultant rheumatologist

  • Dr Akon Esara, consultant rheumatologist

  • Dr Mehdi Mirzadazeh, consultant in metabolic medicine

  • Dr Ina Cambur, locum consultant rheumatologist

  • Dr Luay Zebouni, Locum consultant Rheumatologist

  • Dida Cankov, Lead Rheumatology Clinical Nurse specialist

  • Dr Suma Mahendrakar, Locum Specialty Doctor

  • Valeria Degennaro, clinical nurse specialist in rheumatology

  • Ola Ige, Clinical nurse specialist in rheumatology

  • Sheeja Sabu, clinical nurse specialist in rheumatology

  • Specialist trainee in rheumatology (rotating post)

  • GP trainee in rheumatology (rotating post)

  • Rheumatology SHO (Rotating post)

  • Stephanie Lehur, Biologics pharmacist

  • Sue Leach, patient pathway coordinator

  • Amanda Crick, patient pathway coordinator

  • Zoe Maunsell, patient pathway coordinator

  • Magdalena Alcobia, Biologics coordinator

  • Griffith Furtado, Osteoporosis Coordinator


Opening hours

Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm


Contact details

Epsom and St Helier hospitals Rheumatology Department

Appointments: 020 8296 2968

Secretaries: 020 8296 2473

POD email address: esth.rheumatologysth@nhs.net

Nurses Advice line: 020 8296 2191


GP Referral Information:

British Society of Rheumatology Referral Guidelines for GPs

The BSR have published updated Referral guidelines for GPs. These guidelines list the conditions for which GPs can refer to Rheumatology and the conditions which should not be referred to Rheumatology as they can be managed in primary care or should be referred to alternative specialties. 



Information regarding Pain and Fibromyalgia Referrals

Fibromyalgia and chronic pain can be diagnosed and managed in primary care. Most patients can be referred directly to Pain management clinics and do not need to be referred to Rheumatology. South West London CCG Rheumatology Network have devised a Widespread Chronic Pain Triage  Widespread Pain Pathway [pdf] 208KB

The Royal College of Physicians have produced extensive guidance to help GPs diagnose and manage Fibromyalgia in primary care. https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/guidelines-policy/diagnosis-fibromyalgia-syndrome


Early Inflammatory Arthritis clinic

GPs are advised to submit a completed "Early Inflammatory Arthritis (EIA) referral form" along with referral letter when referring patients with for Suspected Early Inflammatory Arthritis.  

Rheumatology Referral Form for Suspected Early Inflammatory Arthritis [docx] 19KB

This form should be completed and submitted along with referral letter for all referrals for "suspected early inflammatory arthritis". 

Please see ESTH Rheumatology Directory of Service on ERS.


Suspected Giant Cell Arteritis

GPs should refer these patients urgently (same-day) by bleeping the Rheumatology Registrar at St Helier hospital on Bleep  490 via switchboard during 09:00-16:30 Monday- Friday or the Rheumatology consultant at St Helier Hospital during 12:30-16:30 Monday- Friday (via hospital switchboard 0208 296 2000). Outside these hours, patients should be referred to the Medical Registrar on-call via hospital switchboard (Telephone no. 0208 296 2000) or by calling the Medical SDEC consultant on via switchboard.


Patients with visual symptoms should be referred same day to the Urgent Eye Casualty Acute Eye clinic at St Helier Hospital (Telephone no. 0208 296 3817) during Monday to Friday 08:30-16:30. Outside these hours the on-call ophthalmology service for South West Thames is based at St George’s Hospital and operates after 5pm weekdays, at weekends and on bank holidays. The on-call Ophthalmology team should be contacted via St. Georges Hospital switchboard number 020 8672 1255.


Useful Websites and information for patients:


Important information regarding COVID-19 Vaccination.

COVID-19 vaccination is an important part of protecting people at increased risk from severe COVID-19.

Many Rheumatology patients are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination and boosters if they have a weakened immune system due to medical treatment (such as steroid medicine, biological therapy, chemotherapy) or if they fulfil other eligible criteria mentioned on the NHS COVID vaccination website below: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/covid-19/covid-19-vaccination/getting-a-covid-19-vaccine/

You can book your COVID-19 vaccine or booster:



You will need to bring with you either of the following to the vaccination centre, when you attend for your booster vaccination:

  1. A letter from your GP or Rheumatology specialist team inviting you for an additional 3rd primary dose or booster
  2. A hospital letter that describes the condition or treatment that caused you to have a severely weakened immune system.
  3. A prescription or a medicine box with your name and the date showing when the medicine was prescribed which shows that you had a severely weakened immune system at the time of your 1st or 2nd dose. 

Please do not forget to take at least one of the documents mentioned above with you when you attend for your vaccination.  This is required in all cases. where you have pre-booked your appointment or attend a walk-in vaccination centre on the day without prior booking. 

Guidance regarding Covid-19 for patients with rheumatological conditions 






Versus Arthritis UK

Charity with information sheets on rheumatological conditions and their treatments



National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society. 

Links to NRAS Support groups




Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance



British Society of Rheumatology National Early Arthritis Audit information for patients 



Information about Osteoporosis and Bone Health

The Royal Osteoporosis society

Online Calculator of dietary Calcium intake


Information about Vasculitis, Polymyalgia Rheumatica and Giant cell arteritis 




National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society website and back to action programme: 



Patient Disease activity scores for Rheumatoid arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis



DAS28 score for assessment of disease activity in Rheumatoid arthritis



Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index 



Raynaud's and Scleroderma Society UK website: 



UK Gout society 


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