News - Bath Institute for Rheumatic Diseases



Lupus patient information podcasts now available

21 July 2022

We are delighted to announce that our new series for Lupus is now available to listen too. There are 3 podcasts designed to help patients better understand and manage Lupus:

Episode one (23 minutes): Lupus an overview with Dr Ellie Korendowych

Mel Brooke, Patient and Public Engagement Programme Director (BIRD) talks with expert guest Dr Ellie Korendowych, Consultant Rheumatologist at the RNHRD (Bath) who explains about the symptoms that people with this ...

Join our patient research panel

16 June 2022

Are you interested in joining our Patient Research Panel? It’s a small group whom we email and meet over Zoom once a year. The patient panel helps us to help rheumatology researchers gain patient insight into designing rheumatology research projects? It’s not a big commitment, just reading through the occasional document or survey and commenting from your patient perspective. Mel Brooke our Patient Engagement Director leads the group and it’s very friendly and informal. Email: if you are ...

Bursaries for RNHRD AHPs to attend BSR and EULAR

9 June 2022

BIRD funded two clinicians to attend the key annual conference run by the British Society for Rheumatology in Glasgow at the end of April, as part of a new bursary scheme to help early career stage specialists take up research.  Jade Skeates, Team Lead, Rheumatology Physiotherapy at the RNHRD, said: “I chaired my first conference session, and it was great to see the session I had proposed and facilitated come together, reaching over 350 people.  I attended updates on Spondyloarthritis, ...

Arthur Clark Community Fund donation

26 May 2022

Our sincere thanks to the Arnold Clark Community Fund for their generous donation of £1000 towards our BIRD Patient Engagement Programme. Arnold Clark is the UK’s largest independently family owned car retailer and their community fund supports local communities throughout the UK. Again, thank you from BIRD. #ArnoldClarkCommunityfund

Patient Case Studies showcase the Patient Engagement Programme

16 May 2022

Our Patient Engagement Programme Director, Mel Brooke has been speaking to 3 patients who have very kindly agreed to share their experiences of their rheumatology condition and how BIRD resources have helped them. Please do have a read and visit our BIRD patient podcast page.

Our sincere thanks to the Case Studies contributors.

AS Case Study

AS Case Study 2

PsA Case Study

BIRD Trustee vacancy

6 May 2022

Are you looking for a chance to use your life experience and skills to shape a small but successful charity?  Do you care about the future of BIRD?  We’re looking for two new trustees.  People with a rheumatic condition and/or without previous experience of trusteeship are very welcome, we will provide all the support you need.  Our goal is to keep Bath on the international map for rheumatology research through supporting arthritis research, education and patient engagement.  Our trustees are ...

Showcasing the BIRD Patient Engagement Programme at BSR 2022

5 May 2022

For the first time BIRD was delighted to be able to showcase our Patient Engagement programme at the British Society for Rheumatology Conference in Glasgow this year. Thanks to generous sponsorship from Lily we are able to promote and network for further patient engagement opportunities. It was also great to see many of our patient podcast speakers from the RNHRD, Bath at the conference, as well as make new connections.

We have plenty of new ideas and topics for podcasts ...

BIRD hosts 2 online patient information webinars

11 April 2022

BIRD would like to thank all the consultants and physiotherapy RNHRD speakers who contributed to our 2 latest patient information webinars. During March 2022 we hosted 2 online webinars, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA).

Each webinar covered topics such as an overview of the condition, medications, research and physiotherapy tips, with a Q&A session at the end. All the participants were extremely grateful to have the opportunity to learn and be able to ask questions to the consultants, ...

Osteoarthritis Patient Information Podcasts - new series launched

10 March 2022

BIRD has just published a new series of podcasts to add to our growing podcast library for rheumatology patients. We talk to consultants and specialist physiotherapists from the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD), Bath, UK. If you’d like to find out more about Osteoarthritis please listen via your favourite app or via our podcast page on this website:


The episodes are:

  1. Osteoarthritis: an overview with Dr William Tillett
  2. Osteoarthritis: medications and treatments with Dr William ...

RA & PsA Patient Information Webinars: Register your interest

7 February 2022

BIRD is pleased to announce 2 new Information Webinars:

16th March 2022 AM – Rheumatoid Arthritis

23rd March 2022 2-4.30pm – Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

Each webinar will involve consultants from the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) discussing an overview of the condition, medications and latest research. Specialist physiotherapists will give advice. Join us for an informal webinar to help you understand and manage your condition better.

To register your interest please click on the following links or email: ...

New 'Fatigue' podcast published

13 January 2022

In this episode of our podcasts to help people who have rheumatic conditions with aspects of symptom self-management and wellbeing, Mel Brooke, Patient and Public Engagement Programme Director (BIRD) talks with Sandi Derham who is a Rheumatology Occupational Therapist, Clinical Specialist at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases at the RUH, Bath.  Sandi talks about the symptoms and impacts of fatigue and shares some useful tips and advice to help you self-manage it.

Visit our podcast page to listen: ...

BIRD’s innovation award covered in the Dermatologist

13 January 2022

The Dermatologist interviewed BIRD’s executive director about the recent award of the Amgen Uplift Innovation award, see link here:



Apply for this year's Summer Studentship!

10 January 2022

BIRD is the local charity working with patients to fund arthritis research and education in Bath and is pleased to announce it is funding another summer student scholarships. The studentships are run in conjunction with the University of Bath and colleagues at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD).

The University of Bath has a long-standing and internationally recognized reputation for high quality research with an overall aim of improved healthcare outcomes and the RNHRD has a ...

Research Update & News: Patient involvement

6 December 2021

Dr Prasad Nishtala from University of Bath got in touch with us in 2020/2021 to invite our research motivated patients in BIRD’s network to share views on a project looking at “Artificial intelligence for identifying new disease clusters in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory disease (AI-IMID)” Dr Nishtala told us that a broad team of experts in immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) and experts in artificial intelligence (AI) were collaborating and putting together a ...

BIRD wins international award

19 November 2021

BIRD is thrilled to win the Amgen UPLIFT Innovation Challenge worth $25, 000 for its development of digital support for patients.  “Getting global recognition for the innovative response of our patient engagement programme during these difficult times is wonderful, ” said Celia Mead, Executive Director, “we will now be working on clinician led webinars and more social media promotion of our new podcasts to reach thousands more patients with psoriatic arthritis, deepening their knowledge, filling in gaps between appointments, building ...

New BIRD podcast published 'Sleep disturbance & tips'

9 November 2021

In this episode of our podcasts to help people who have rheumatic conditions with aspects of self-management and wellbeing, Mel Brooke, Patient and Public Engagement Programme Director (BIRD) talks with Sandi Derham who is a Rheumatology Occupational Therapist, Clinical Specialist at the RNHRD (Bath).  Sandi talks through the process of sleep, the importance of getting enough of it and the kinds of things that might disturb it. She then shares some tips and advice on how you might be able ...

Trustees’ Report shows excellent adaptation during the pandemic

3 November 2021

The Trustees of BIRD have finalised their Annual Report, praising the excellent adaption during the pandemic.  In particular BIRD switched to virtual delivery of professional education and patient information and spent an extra £20, 000 on extensions to research projects, where they were impacted by lab closures and difficulties in patient recruitment.

The key achievements over the last year were noted as:

  • The total amount of grants awarded for research into rheumatic diseases was £78, 824
  • 254 consultants, GPs, ...

New grant awarded to BIRD from the Hospital Saturday Fund (HSF)

29 October 2021

BIRD is delighted to receive £4, 000 from the Hospital Saturday Fund towards its Patient Engagement Programme.  “HSF were impressed with BIRD’s switch to online provision during the pandemic, in particular the development of podcasts and now webinars”.

Congratulations and thank you to Dr Ben Mulhearn

20 October 2021

Thank you to Dr Ben Mulhearn at the RNHRD from the team here for raising over £1200 for BIRD and many congratulations on completing the half marathon, injury free!

New Rheumatoid Arthritis podcast series now available

4 October 2021

Listen to our latest series of podcasts covering Rheumatoid Arthritis. In a series of 3 podcasts we talk to Dr Andrew Allard from the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD), Bath and Clare Jacklin from National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS). Topics cover an overview, medications, treatments and an update from NRAS. Many thanks to our speakers and we hope you enjoy listening. Visit our podcast website page for the full list of podcasts.

Call for Grant Applications in Rheumatology Research

2 September 2021

Call for Grant Applications in Rheumatology Research – Deadline 30th November 2021

Bath Institute for Rheumatic Diseases (BIRD) exists to support arthritis research, education and patient engagement.  We fund research projects in rheumatic diseases which:

  • Help to promote and advance medical knowledge
  • Improve treatments for patients
  • Encourage collaboration between clinicians and research scientists

We look to award pump priming funding of small to medium-sized grants that would be ideally suited to pilot studies, preliminary research, tests of clinical effectiveness ...

BIRD's 1st ever online fundraising auction is now live!

28 July 2021

Today we launch BIRD’s first ever silent auction, running for 3 days until midnight on Friday 30th July.

Local companies have generously donated unique prizes for you to bid on.  Whether you are interested in relaxing at a Spa or want to enjoy fascinating views of Bath from a sky-high perspective, or just love fine dining, we have the prize to suit you.

The funds raised from this auction will help finance our research and patient engagement initiatives. You would therefore ...

Grant awarded to BIRD from Bath Boules Charitable Trust

22 July 2021

BIRD is delighted to have received £1000 from Bath Boules charitable trust to promote its upcoming Osteoarthritis podcasts and to make webinars for patients and their carers.  Good luck to all teams taking part in Bath Boules tomorrow!

Two research projects funded by BIRD publish papers

21 July 2021

The Post-traumatic Osteoarthritis Support Tool (POST) study.

Knee-related post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA) is a type of osteoarthritis which affects young people with a history of joint injury including fracture, ligament rupture, joint dislocation, or meniscus tear.

The project set out to:

– Understand the lived experience of early-onset PTOA symptoms and medical care-seeking behaviours of young people with a history of knee joint injury.

– Develop and conduct initial evaluation of a symptom self-management tool to promote healthy behaviours (e.g., physical ...

New 'Social Prescribing' podcast published

20 July 2021

Self-Management & Wellbeing for people with rheumatic conditions: Social Prescribing

In this first episode of our podcast series about Self-Management and Wellbeing, Mel Brooke, Patient and Public Engagement Programme Director (BIRD) talks with Rachel Dawson, Social Prescribing Link Worker with the Minerva Primary Care Network. Rachel walks us through what Social Prescribing is, how to access it and ways it may be able to support you. Visit our podcast page to listen.

BIRD's first ever virtual auction - bid for prizes

15 July 2021

We are very excited to announce BIRD’s first ever virtual auction will be taking place from July 28th to 30th. We are gathering amazing experiences and prizes for you to bid on. This is a project led by students from the University of Bath and all funds raised will go towards our research and patient engagement programmes. More information on how to get involved will be coming very soon. Keep an eye on our Facebook page as ...

Film award for BIRD collaboration project

22 June 2021

An awareness-raising film which BIRD contributed to has won recognition in a recent awards ceremony. The ‘It’s All Connected’ film was awarded a silver medal at the UK’s Pharmaceutical Marketing (PM) Society awards in March. These awards recognise the best in creativity, impact and innovation in communications in the healthcare industry.


The film was developed by Lilly working with a steering committee of clinicians and patient representatives including BIRD. The film highlights that Spondyloarthritis conditions have symptoms that are ...

New BIRD Patient Research Panel

14 June 2021

We has been busy setting up BIRDs new ‘Patient Research Panel’. This is a group of research interested patients who we can contact from time to time to review, comment or get engaged in the requests for help or participation that come through BIRD.  The panel will be made up of people with a mix of rheumatic conditions who are open to various types of patient research engagement that might include a range of researcher requests to help with things ...

New Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) podcast series available

11 June 2021

Listen to our latest series of podcasts on Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA). Visit our podcast page to find the 4 episodes:

Podcast 1. Psoriatic Arthritis – An overview with Dr Ellie Korendowych, Consultant Rheumatologist at the RNHRD, Bath.

Podcast 2. Psoriatic Arthritis – Medications and Research with Dr William Tillett, Consultant Rheumatologist at the RNHRD, Bath.

Podcast 3. Psoriatic Arthritis – why it’s important to stay active and how with Jade Skeates. Clinical and Team Lead, Rheumatology Physiotherapy, RNHRD, Bath.


Research News. PREVeNT RA a request for participants

11 June 2021

Research News 2: PREVeNT RA: A Nationwide register of first-degree relatives of patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) to evaluate predictors of the development of RA

BIRD have been asked to let you know about the study above. The aim of the study is to identify risk factors for developing RA by studying people who are first-degree relatives of someone with RA, but do not themselves have RA. The study will look at the genetic, environmental and other factors to understand ...

Research update Mi-PART Study for Psoriatic Arthritis

11 June 2021

Research News 1: MI-PART Study

We are keeping track of the Mi-PART for Psoriatic Arthritis study that some BIRD followers will have participated in and asked the research team for an update we could share. It’s no surprise to hear that Covid has hampered recruitment but we heard the team at Bath University have done a sterling job and were able to recruit the bulk of the Bath cohort. In addition there have been 2 x London PsA cohorts and ...

New grant awarded to BIRD for podcasts

10 June 2021

BIRD are delighted to have received another grant for 2021 to continue to produce our rheumatology podcasts. This is the second grant we have received from Healthwatch BANES and is awarded to help develop new podcasts on different rheumatology conditions. Our sincere thanks to Healthwatch BANES for their continued support and also to the speakers from the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) for participating. To date BIRD have published podcasts covering Myositis, Osteoporosis, Vasculitis, Young Adult Arthritis, ...

Call for Grant Applications in Rheumatology Research

1 April 2021

Call for Grant Applications in Rheumatology Research – Deadline 31st May 2021

Bath Institute for Rheumatic Diseases (BIRD) exists to support arthritis research, education and patient engagement.  We fund research projects in rheumatic diseases which:

  • Help to promote and advance medical knowledge
  • Improve treatments for patients
  • Encourage collaboration between clinicians and research scientists

We look to award pump priming funding of small to medium-sized grants that would be ideally suited to pilot studies, preliminary research, tests of clinical ...

New Scleroderma Podcasts now published

30 March 2021

Listen to BIRD’s new series of 3 patient podcasts for Scleroderma. Scleroderma comes under the umbrella term for Systemic Sclerosis which also includes Raynaud’s phenomenon. We interview Dr John Pauling, Consultant Rheumatologist at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD), Bath, UK, about symptoms, medications and research. Visit our podcast tab to find and listen to the podcasts. We hope you enjoy listening.

Just published, BIRD Information leaflet

12 March 2021

BIRD has just published it’s latest charity information leaflet. If you would like a printed or pdf version please email:

Introducing BIRD video highlighting our work

10 March 2021

Please see the following link to our YouTube video highlighting BIRD’s work for rheumatology research and patients.

A big thank you to Dr Ben Mulhearn, running to fundraise for BIRD

4 February 2021

Dr Ben Mulhearn, Rheumatology Clinical Academic Trainee, is running the Palma half marathon in October 2021 to raise funds for BIRD.  He says: “With family links to rheumatoid arthritis and working in the field (as well as having a dodgy knee), this is my way to both raise money for rheumatology research and raise awareness of the discipline of rheumatology, as well as having a great time while doing so”. BIRD is grateful for all donations, large and small, and will ...

Survey results from our guest, expert podcast speakers

28 January 2021

See the attached image for an infographic with the results from a recent survey to our guest expert podcast speakers. All BIRD podcasts are now available on a dedicated page on this BIRD website. Go to the podcasts page to listen to all our published podcasts. More are planned through 2021.

Can you help? Have you listened to any of the BIRD podcasts?

21 January 2021

If you have listened to any of the BIRD podcasts, we’d be grateful if you could spare the time to complete our feedback questionnaire. It should only take a few minutes and is anonymous. Questions centre around podcast topics and mental health. This will help us to find out what you need and to plan the programme for 2021

Thank you so much in advance.

Headline achievements from the BIRD annual report

20 January 2021

BIRD has published its headline achievements as a charity in filing its annual report for the year ending March 2020.  These were:

  • £105, 128 awarded for research into rheumatic diseases
  • 300 healthcare professional attendees at training sessions, meetings and events for consultants, clinicians, researchers and academics
  • 185 patient attendees at information days and 360 registered for newsletters. The total network reached via mailings and social media ad postings was 16, 909 patients and members of the public
  • 87% of ...

BIRD plans for 2021

7 January 2021

Happy New year from all at BIRD. 2020 was a different year for everyone and our Patient and Public Engagement Programme. Our usual calendar of events for different rheumatic conditions was obviously cancelled. However, the switch to podcasts has been wonderfully successful. There are now 5 series of podcasts covering Myositis, Osteoporosis, Young Adult Arthritis, Vasculitis and Axial Spondyloarthritis (AxSpA). To date the podcasts have been listened to nearly 4000 times, significantly expanding our reach. Our thanks to all the ...

Axial Spondyloarthritis podcasts published

11 December 2020

A new series of 5 podcasts aimed at patients with Axial Spondyloarthritis, and their carers and families has been produced by BIRD.  “We know patients are finding podcasts a useful way to learn more about their condition because we can see that hundreds of them are listening to every episode”, said Mel Brooke, Patient and Public Engagement Programme Director. Episodes cover an overview of Axial Spondyloarthritis and medications with Dr Raj Sengupta, Consultant Rheumatologist and Clinical Lead for Axial Spondyloarthritis. ...

Young Adult Arthritis podcast series now published

27 November 2020

This podcast series is aimed at providing useful information too young adults with rheumatology conditions and one podcast specifically for pregnancy planning.  In the first and second episode, Mel Brooke, Patient and Public Engagement Programme Director (BIRD) talks with rheumatology experts and specialist nurses about the process of transitioning from paediatric to adult rheumatology care and how a special clinic for young adults set up at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, Bath helps with that process.  In this ...

Vasculitis podcast series now available to listen too

15 October 2020

Vasculitis; the Bath Institute for Rheumatic Diseases has launched an informative podcast series where we interview consultants and specialist healthcare experts from the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases to help you learn about Vasculitis and understand how it can affect you.Our podcast series will give you an expert overview of vasculitis, the medications used to treat it and we talk to a Specialist Nurse from a special new Giant Cell Arthritis clinic.

Click on the link below to take you to the ...

BIRD's bird bath installed outside the new RNHRD building

10 September 2020

A new bird bath and art installation was craned into place outside the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases at the Royal United Hospital, Bath this morning, 10 September 2020.  It is dedicated to the donors supporting Bath Institute for Rheumatic Diseases (BIRD) by funding scientific and clinical research since 1975.  BIRD will be organising an official ceremony later in the year which marks the charity’s relocation to the hospital site. The artwork is called ‘Ascending’ and was sculpted by ...

Award for early career research

21 August 2020

Congratulations to Jade Skeates for being chosen as the winner of the Clinical Award 2020 by the Heberden Committee for her abstract submitted to the British Society for Rheumatology Annual Conference 2020 entitled ‘Evaluation of a 10 week progressive resistance training programme for people with inflammatory arthritis’.  Jade has received a trophy and £250 as well as publication in the journal ‘Rheumatology’ and the opportunity to present her research at the Annual Conference in 2020.  Her abstract was accepted for ...

Osteoporosis Podcasts now available

11 August 2020

BIRD are delighted to publish our latest series of podcasts for Osteoporosis.

Podcast 1 Overview and medications with Dr Sarah Hardcastle

Mel Brooke, Patient and Public Engagement Programme Director (BIRD) asks Dr Sarah Hardcastle, Consultant Rheumatologist at the RNHRD (Bath) to tell us what is known about osteoporosis, how it is assessed and to talk about fractures, falls and other risks.  We also discuss what treatments exist and the lifestyle factors that can influence the condition.

Grant awarded to support a new series of podcasts

10 July 2020

Bath Institute for Rheumatic Diseases (BIRD) has been awarded £4, 148 to make and promote a series of podcasts for patients by Healthwatch B&NES from their community pot.

Mel Brooke, Patient and Public Engagement programme director for BIRD said: “We work closely with patients to deepen their understanding of their rheumatic disease and the latest research and treatment available through a well-established programme of information events.  We have had to put these on hold due to COVID ...

BIRD's contribution to 'Fibro Fog' Poster at EULAR 2020

7 July 2020

BIRD took part in a project to identify good questions for researchers to ask about Fibromyalgia ‘Fibro Fog’.  Mel Brooke, BIRD’s patient and public engagement programme Director, helped to organise and co-facilitate three patient workshops with Sandi Derham, Rheumatology Occupational Therapist Clinical Specialist RNHRD & NIHR Academy Member. The results were written up as an abstract submitted as a subject for a PARE (People with Arthritis and Rheumatism) poster for the annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR) conference held virtually ...

It's Volunteers Week 2020 and we'd like to say a big THANK YOU!

1 June 2020

It’s Volunteers Week 2020 and we’d like to say a big THANK YOU to all our lovely volunteers who have helped us at information events, taken part in rheumatology research (including our online workshop) and those who have been helping to evaluate our new podcasts!

Grant applications for Rheumatology Research need to be received

18 May 2020

Don’t Forget! Grant applications for rheumatology research need to be received before the deadline 31st May 2020! If you are interested in applying please find our application form and grant awarding policy on

The test run for a PPE 'Virtual Workshop' complete!

27 April 2020

We are pleased to announce we have test run our very first PPE ‘virtual workshop’ – our thanks to the people who came forward to volunteer as a result of last week’s call out and those who participated. The theme was ‘Coping with a rheumatic condition during the Coronavirus lockdown’ and involved through a set of 5 main questions around feeling safe, feeling well, keeping active, mental wellbeing and access to treatment – all designed to initiate discussion and capture ...

Listen to our second Myositis themed podcast about keeping active

3 April 2020

Myositis Part 2: Keeping active – following on from our first podcast about the rheumatic condition Myositis, Jade Skeates, Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist, Rheumatology at the RNHRD, Bath talks to Mel Brooke, Patient and Public Engagement Director (BIRD) about ways of keeping active with Myositis.

BIRD's new Myositis podcast

30 March 2020

BIRD’s new Public and Patient Engagement Podcast website. We are really pleased to have uploaded our first podcast for Myositis, which was an event due to take place on the 27th March. Please visit

On the podcast, listen to Dr Sarah Tansley talking to BIRD’s Mel Brooke about Myositis. The talk is 25 minutes long. Please do bear with us as we test all these new systems.

Below is a snapshot of what the page looks like, when ...

Update on BIRD PPE Information Days and Podcast Launch

27 March 2020

At BIRD we do hope you are all keeping well. We are all working from home now and testing out all sorts of new systems. As we do our best to continue to provide you with information on rheumatic diseases during this difficult and exceptional time, we have been working on bringing you alternative and innovative ways of accessing it without the risks currently associated with social gatherings. Celia Mead, BIRD’s Executive Director says:

“We must protect all our patients ...

Well done to our Bath Half Runners!

15 March 2020

Congratulations and thanks to all BIRD’s half marathon runners, either who ran in the race or ran an alternative route due to the current climate.

Fantastic effort from all, we very much appreciate your hard work and all of your sponsors generosity, thank you!

This photo taken at the furthest flung point of the race where we cheered them on!


14 March 2020

Due to the current nature of the news and the impact of the covid-19 virus, we have decided to cancel our events planned for March and April:

1. Myositis – 27th March 2020 – CANCELLED
2. Transition from Paediatric to Adult Rheumatology – 14th April – CANCELLED

We are looking at providing the information via online delivery, possibly a podcast or presentation online. We will obviously keep you informed of how these options progress. If you were attending either ...

Coronavirus: Notice for those attending our events

3 March 2020

Please find the following notice we have received from the Royal United Hospital staff regarding the coronavirus:

Despite press coverage, as yet there there have been no formal recommendations from Public Health England to curtail public freedom of movement. Participants do need to follow the latest Public Health guidance on their website, particularly if they develop symptoms or have traveled to affected areas listed. Usual good hygiene precautions apply regardless and the venue has good access to hand washing facilities. ...

Sharron Davies MBE, BIRDs Patron supports BIRDs Bath Half Runners

27 February 2020

Sharron Davies MBE, Patron of Bath Institute for Rheumatic Diseases (BIRD), encourages BIRD Bath Half Marathon runners to train professionally, together with physio Vicky Baldy.   BIRD is raising funds for research into rheumatic diseases.  Sharron says:  “We need to look after our bones and joints, so following physio advice is an important part of avoiding injury and improving your speed.”  To sponsor a BIRD runner or donate please see our Virgin Money Giving page

Phase 2 Launch of the BIRD PPE Programme

19 February 2020

The next phase of the successful Patient & Public Engagement programme will launch in 2020.  Having built a strong network reach of over 14, 000 patients and deepened their knowledge of rheumatic disease and some of the research around it, BIRD is now focusing on getting more patient volunteers involved in research itself.

PPE programme director, Mel Brooke said: “BIRD is helping everyone to work together to improve research – patients, clinicians, researchers, the hospital and the university – and ...

Training begins for BIRD's Bath Half Runners!

23 January 2020

BIRD has 12 runners lined up for the Bath Half Marathon in March.   Each has pledged to raise at least £200 for research, using the Virgin Money Giving platform.  The ‘team’ met in January to be briefed by physio Vicky Baldy on top training tips, given encouragement by BIRD staff and to plot a photoshoot of their training.  More to come in February!

BIRD helps bring world-leading skin disorder experts to the city

12 December 2019

We were delighted to be involved in the second Skin@Bath Network Symposium, organised by the RUH, University of Bath and BIRD. 

Read all about it here


Scientists on the cutting edge of skin research gathered in Bath last week to discuss research breakthroughs on skin disorders ranging from eczema and fungal infections to skin ...

Merry Christmas for all at BIRD

16 December 2019

The BIRD office will be staffed intermittently between Friday 20th December 2019 to Monday 6th January 2020, however our email and answer machine will be checked daily throughout the festive period.

We would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year!

Thank you for your Waitrose tokens!

1 December 2019

Thank you so much for your green tokens donated to BIRD in this Novembers Waitrose Bath community matters scheme. We are delighted to have been raised £442.00 from the £1000.00 available! Thank you!

BIRD has now moved to the RUH

8 November 2019

Following the relocation of the RNHRD, BIRD has now moved to it’s new office at the RUH site.

Whilst this is a big change for all, we are excited about the opportunities the RUH can offer BIRD and we will continue to work closely with the RNHRD Staff to fulfill our research, education and engagement programmes.

Our telephone number and email addresses remain unchanged, but our new address is:

Bath Institute for Rheumatic Diseases
Department D1
Wolfson Building

Another successful Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) Information Day!

19 September 2019

BIRDs recent information day for people with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) held at The Bath Royal Scientific and Literary Institute was again packed this year with in excess of 70 people.

Feedback included: ‘The morning talks [with] Dr Sengupta and Prof Marchesi were fantastic. Really Informative’

‘I enjoyed all of the day, it was interesting and informative’

The day was very well received by the attendees, with an outstanding 98% rating the day excellent or good overall!

Dr Raj Sengupta, a consultant at ...

We are part of the Waitose Community Matters scheme in November

16 October 2019

Look out for BIRD in the green token scheme in Waitrose Bath this November.
Known as their Community Matters scheme, each month every branch donates £1, 000 between local good causes.
The more tokens we get, the bigger the donation we receive for our rheumatology research projects!

BIRD seeks roadrunners to champion rheumatic research

23 September 2019

BIRD helps people with rheumatic diseases through research, education and information.  Rheumatology is the study and treatment of arthritis, including a number of autoimmune diseases, pain disorders affecting bones, joints, soft tissue and tendons.  In the long term, our work helps almost everyone because only one person in fifty will escape some form of rheumatic complaint in their lives.

So, while you’re fit and healthy enough to enjoy running long distance, we are asking you to consider helping us.  BIRD has secured special charity entries to the Bath ...

New Patrons for BIRD

13 September 2019

BIRD is delighted to announce two new Patrons:  Professor Bernie Morley, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost of the University of Bath.  His current role is strategic, however his previous research was focussed on the genetics of autoimmune diseases, specifically Systematic Lupus Erythematosus.

Sharron Davies, MBE, former British champion Olympic swimmer and television presenter. Her experience of peak fitness, and indeed the injury that goes with athleticism, gives her insight and sympathy for those with musculo-skeletal bone and joint conditions.

The Right ...

Showcase event

13 September 2019

BIRD said farewell to being located at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases with a showcase event.  A toast was raised to the famous Mineral Hospital, one of the first national hospitals in the country. Researchers funded by BIRD explained their work to donors, volunteers and staff by presenting scientific posters. Two new patrons of BIRD were announced. A video of the sponsored skydive by BIRD trustee Stephanie Lear was shown. And BIRD’s participation in the next Bath Half ...

National Lottery awards £9,000 for Patient Engagement in Bath

11 June 2019

The National Lottery Community Fund has awarded BIRD £9, 000 for its Patient and Public Engagement (PPE) programme.

The funding will be used by the Programme Director, Mel Brooke, in running patient research activities as well as a series of free information days, patient support hubs and newsletters.

Mel said: “People can feel very anxious or isolated when they are diagnosed.  Finding other people to talk to, and share experiences with, is an important ...

Rheumatoid Arthritis Focus Group

29 June 2019

Volunteer patient participants and researchers took part in a research Focus Group hosted by BIRD to discuss plans for a new smartphone app to monitor rheumatoid arthritis disease activity between appointments.

Leading the group discussion was Dr Bashaar Boyce, Rheumatology Consultant RNHRD and Dr Phil Hamann, Clinical Lecturer, University of Bristol who explained why it would be so useful for both clinicians and patients.

There was plenty of discussion throughout the session and, after ...

Funding for research into epidemiology of Psoriatic arthritis

22 June 2019

BIRD has agreed to fund 9 months’ salary costs for University researcher Ms Amelia Green’s time to complete work looking at factors that may predict the onset of psoriatic arthritis in people with psoriasis, as part of a broader study.  This will allow the research team to take maximum advantage of the rich dataset on file (over 100, 000 patients).

In particular, she will investigate the prevalence, incidence and evolution of musculoskeletal symptoms reported to ...

New wearable technology for Ankylosing Spondylitis patients

2 June 2019

BIRD are proud to have helped Dr Raj Sengupta produce this video explaining and encouraging Ankylosing Spondylitis patients to use a new app to help better understand and treat their condition.


Help support BIRD by making a contribution

Our work is built on the kind donations and bequests of previous generations. If you like what we do and would like to help, please consider giving us a donation, or a gift in memory of someone dear to you, inscribed on our benefactors’ board, or even a legacy. £100 covers our monthly IT costs. £500 sobers all the costs of a patient information event. £2000 would pay for a Summer Studentship for a scientific researcher. £10,000 would fund a small-scale pilot research project.