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Behçet’s Syndrome National Centre of Excellence

Behçet’s syndrome (also known as Behçet’s disease) is a rare chronic auto-inflammatory multisystem disorder of unknown cause. Symptoms include recurrent mouth ulcers, genital ulcers, eye inflammation, joint pain and skin lesions. Most of the symptoms are painful but not life-threatening. They come and go in a series of attacks (‘flare-ups’) throughout life. There is currently no cure for Behçet’s syndrome.

The Birmingham Behçet’s Syndrome National Centre of Excellence is a specialist clinic at the Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre (BMEC), at City Hospital. People with Behçet’s syndrome can be seen by consultants from different specialties on the same day, rather than having to attend different appointments. The core services include rheumatology, ophthalmology and oral medicine; other specialities include neurology, dermatology and gastroenterology.

The centre opened in 2012 and is one of three in the country, with the other two in Liverpool and London. It was funded by NHS Specialised Services Commissioning following a successful bid from the Behçet’s Syndrome Society, in partnership with doctors specialising in the disease from all three centres.

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Lead Clinician/Consultant Rheumatologist
Dr Deva Situnayake

Professor in Ophthalmology
Professor Philip Murray

Consultant Rheumatologists
Dr Sofia Tosounidou

Dr Priyanka Chandratre

Dr Sangeetha Baskar

Dr Andrew Whallett

Consultants in Oral Medicine
Mr John Hamburger

Miss Andrea Richards

Miss Ana Poveda-Gallego

Mr John Higham

Clinical Psychologist
(Currently recruiting to post)

Lead Nurse/Manager Behcets Centre
Debbie Mitton

Behçet Support Coordinator
Rebecca Hyder

Centre Administrator
Vicky Sewell

Diane Staple


Doctors from BMEC, City Hospital and Birmingham Dental Hospital staff the Birmingham Behçet’s Syndrome Centre of Excellence. The core services include rheumatology, ophthalmology and oral medicine, with additional input from specialities such as neurology, dermatology, gynaecology, haematology and gastroenterology. Patients can be seen in one location at the same visit instead of having to attend numerous hospital appointments.

The clinic currently runs every Friday from 8.45am to 1pm and every Thursday between 1.45-5pm.

We also run quarterly paediatric clinics.

The centre aims to:

  • allow patients to gain access to diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible
  • allow patients to be seen by doctors from different specialities in one visit and have all symptoms managed in one place.
  • increase awareness of the syndrome and the centre to the public and also health professionals as most health professionals will only come across a few cases during their careers.

The centre offers:

  • One-stop multi-disciplinary clinics
  • Clinical consultation with doctors from each specialty
  • Referrals to other related specialties if required
  • Telephone support from specialist nursing support before, during and after appointments
  • Support workers to provide non-medical support, particularly to newly diagnosed patients

Patient Stories

Jan Mather – My Behçet’s syndrome journey

My journey with Behçet’s syndrome probably began as a teenager when I had three or four bouts of tonsillitis each year, accompanied with what seemed like a constant crop of mouth ulcers.  After several visits to the GP and dentist I was repeatedly told that mouth ulcers are common and most people get them, but most of my friends had one occasionally not a mouth full most of the time!

Read more here.

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We welcome enquiries from patients, relatives or healthcare professionals.


Dr Situnayake
Consultant Rheumatologist
Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre
City Hospital
Dudley Road
B18 7QH

If you would like to get in contact with any part of BMEC, please dial our central number 0121 507 4440.


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