Consultant rheumatologist retires after 26 years

Dr David O’Reilly, consultant rheumatologist, has retired from West Suffolk Hospital Picture: WEST S

Dr David OReilly, consultant rheumatologist, has retired from West Suffolk Hospital Picture: WEST SUFFOLK HOSPITAL - Credit: Archant

A consultant rheumatologist from West Suffolk Hospital has retired after 26 years – leaving behind a thriving department which he developed.

Dr David O'Reilly first joined the Bury St Edmunds hospital in 1993 and set about creating a brand new rheumatology department from scratch.

Dr O'Reilly said: "It was tough to begin with, but I surrounded myself with the right people, who were like-minded, innovative and patient-focused. "We all worked together to create a happy, healthy working atmosphere. Everyone, whatever role, be it doctor, nurse, clinical and non-clinical, contributes their ideas so our whole department is unified and knows what the goals are.

"I've introduced a lot of changes over the years, as we are always keeping up to date with new research and the best treatments. If I leave a legacy, I hope it's that everyone's opinion counts, and that good team work makes for an efficient department."

Rheumatologists treat a wide remit of patients with inflammatory joint disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, metabolic bone disorders such as osteoporosis, connective tissues diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, and soft tissues rheumatism such as tennis elbow.

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The hospital's rheumatology department has now grown and has some of the shortest waiting times in East Anglia for GP referrals.

Dr O'Reilly added: "I feel privileged to have been a consultant at such an excellent hospital, that is truly supported by the community in which it is situated. "I have also always been supported along the way by an amazing, hard-working team, and by the hospital's executive team. As a consultant you are a person of trust, and that has been a real privilege."

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