A specialist nurse, who set up a clinic for rheumatoid arthritis patients at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, has been shortlisted for a national award.

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Heather Hasthorpe, of Buxton, near Aylsham, was shortlisted in the ‘innovation in a speciality’ category at the Nursing Standard’s Nurse Awards 2013.

The nurse will be delivering a presentation to the Royal College of Nursing about her work this week, and the winner will be announced in an award ceremony in London on March 12.

Mrs Hasthorpe launched the new clinic at the rheumatology outpatients department in 2010 for newly diagnosed adult rheumatoid arthritis patients who needed to be seen earlier for treatment. The new clinic ensures patients are seen at regular intervals and their treatment escalated accordingly to control the potentially destructive effects of the condition.

She said: “The new clinic’s been so successful that we now run an additional two clinics throughout the week, helping even more patients and I would like to set up a clinic in Cromer for North Norfolk patients to access this service. The nomination has helped raise the profile of the disease and I’m thrilled to be one of the two finalists in this category.”

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