Brummie celebrity Carl Chinn and the Mayor of Birmingham cut the ribbon at Behçet’s Syndrome Centre of Excellence

17th May 2013

Local TV and radio personality Professor Carl Chinn MBE and the Lord Mayor of Birmingham were on hand later today (16 May) to officially open a new centre that caters for patients with a rare condition.

Carl, who is professor of Birmingham Community History at the University of Birmingham and is the author of scores of books and articles on the social history of the West Midlands, cut the ribbon at the Birmingham Behçet’s Syndrome Centre of Excellence, along with Cllr John Lines, Lord Mayor of Birmingham.

The centre, based at the Sheldon Block at City Hospital, is one of only three in the UK catering to people with the syndrome. Behçet’s syndrome is a rare condition that causes inflammation of the blood vessels, with symptoms including mouth and genital ulcers, eye inflammation and skin lesions, and can lead to arthritis, bowel inflammation and meningitis.

The event, on Thursday 16 May, coincided with International Behçet’s Disease Awareness Day. Carl and the Mayor were joined by Chris Philips, Director of the Behçet’s Syndrome Society and Dr Chris Deighton, President of the British Society for Rheumatology, as well as patients and staff from the centre.

Dr Deva Situnayake, clinical lead at the centre, explained: “In Western Europe, Behçet’s syndrome is very rare, with only an estimated 500 people in the UK having a diagnosis. However, while the syndrome is currently incurable, it doesn’t mean it is untreatable, and we were delighted to become host of one of the national centres specialising in the treatment of this disease.

“We were thrilled to welcome the Lord Mayor and Dr Carl Chinn to officially open the centre. The opening of the centre will make such a positive difference to patients’ lives from across the West Midlands and beyond, as people with Behçet’s syndrome can now come to the centre and be seen by consultants from different specialties on the same day, instead of having to attend different appointments.”

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