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Starship Paediatric Rheumatology

Public Service, Rheumatology, Paediatrics


The Starship Paediatric Rheumatology service is primarily an outpatient service that sees patients in the outpatient clinics at Starship and outreach clinics at some regional centres. Occasionally patients may be admitted to the Day Stay Unit.
The service is part of the New Zealand Paediatric Rheumatology Service, and provides specialised care for children and young people with arthritis and related conditions in the greater Auckland region, the upper North Island and the Far North.
The rheumatology team includes doctors, a clinical nurse specialist, physiotherapist and occupational therapist. They also work closely with other paediatric specialists when required.
What is Rheumatology?

Rheumatology is the specialty of medicine that includes autoimmune and autoinflammatory conditions including arthritis. The term arthritis refers to the inflammation of a joint in the body. An autoimmune or autoinflammatory condition is where an abnormality in the immune system leads to the body’s defence harming its own cells by mistake.

Common Conditions

Paediatric Rheumatology encompasses a wide variety of inflammatory and non-inflammatory conditions of the musculoskeletal system (muscles and joints) as well as conditions of non-infectious multi-system inflammation.

The types of conditions cared for by the Rheumatology team include:

  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM)
  • Vasculitis
  • Connective tissue disease
  • Scleroderma
  • Chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO)


Referral Expectations

Your GP or paediatrician will refer your child to the Starship Paediatric Rheumatology service if they think your child may have an autoimmune or autoinflammatory condition such as arthritis, and they require a specialist opinion regarding the diagnosis or treatment of this condition. Before coming to the clinic your child may need to undergo some tests such as blood tests or x-rays, and it is helpful to bring a list of any medicines they are currently taking.

At the clinic appointment a history of your child's symptoms will be taken as well as a review of any medications they are on. Your child will then be examined, and may be referred for further testing. The specialist will discuss with you the possible diagnosis and what further tests or treatments are recommended. They will also contact your GP and/or paediatrician about the diagnosis, results of tests and a treatment plan.
The rheumatology team includes several different specialties and your child may also be reviewed by other members of the team. Your child may have ongoing follow-up care in our clinic, or be discharged back to the care of your GP. If you are from outside of Auckland, ongoing care may be shared with a local paediatrician.


Open Monday to Friday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Common Conditions / Procedures / Treatments

  • Blood tests

    Blood tests can be used to look for how much inflammation there is in the body, monitor certain side effects of the medicines the patient is taking and/or help classify the patient's rheumatological condition. More

  • X-rays

    X-rays are used to give a picture of the bones and joints.… More

  • MRI

    MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) gives even more detailed pictures of joints and organs and may be helpful to check if the joint is damaged.… More

  • Joint injections

    A joint injection is most often done to deliver medicine directly into the joint.… More

  • Drug infusions

    Some medications used in rheumatology are given as an intravenous infusion.… More

  • Ultrasound

    Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves/echoes to give images of soft tissues and fluid.… More

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Contact Details

2 Park Road
Auckland 1023

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Street Address

2 Park Road
Auckland 1023

Postal Address

Starship Child Health
Private Bag 92 024
Auckland Mail Centre
Auckland 1142
New Zealand

This page was last updated at 3:57PM on December 16, 2021. This information is reviewed and edited by Starship Paediatric Rheumatology.