Opening times: Monday to Friday, 9.30am - 4.30pm
Our helpline is manned by three trained staff supported by other members of the NRAS team.
Our aim is to provide callers with up to date information, give emotional support especially for those going through a difficult time and help people understand more about the disease and the treatments available. We aim to keep well-informed of developments in the field of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and will always try to answer your questions as fully as possible.
We provide information and support on a range of topics including getting a diagnosis, side effects of medications, issues with work, the financial impact of RA, possible benefits available, diet and exercise, pregnancy, complementary therapies and surgery.We receive a very wide range of calls and when relevant information or detailed knowledge is not available,
we will always endeavour to find good evidence-based information from other sources, and give details of the best organisation to help you, perhaps with more in-depth knowledge and experience on a particular topic.
Callers need to be aware that we have no medical training and so unfortunately are not able to answer specific medical questions such as:
“I’m not feeling well, should I stop my methotrexate?” In such circumstances we always refer callers to their rheumatology team or GP. We really do appreciate how frustrating this is as often it is difficult to get through to healthcare professionals, but it would be very unsafe for us to field this type of question.
We have access to a team of Medical Advisors; consultants, rheumatology nurse specialists and other health professionals whom we can contact for further information and advice. They are not unfortunately working here in the office with us but they occasionally help us to respond to difficult queries by email. Of course any responses provided by them in these circumstances can only be very general and they cannot give direct medical advice on individual's circumstances.
If you would like to talk to someone else who also has RA for general support, you may prefer to speak to one of our volunteers from the NRAS Volunteer Network. Our volunteers are trained to speak on the telephone about whatever aspect of your RA that you are most concerned about. This service is restricted to UK calls only.
You can contact the helpline:
By telephone (free from landlines):
0800 298 7650 (Monday - Friday, 9.30am - 4.30pm)
4 Switchback Office Park
If you would like us to arrange for a volunteer to call you, please phone the Helpline team on: 0800 298 7650 (free from landlines)