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Dr Gerald Coakley

Consultant Rheumatologist


Practices at: The Blackheath Hospital

A photo of Dr Gerald Coakley

Personal Profile

Dr Gerald Coakley graduated from the Royal London Hospital Medical School in 1989.  After training in Nottinghamshire and London, he was awarded an Arthritis Research Campaign Fellowship, allowing him to carry out research in immunology and immunogenetics relating to Rheumatoid Arthritis and Felty's syndrome at Guy's Hospital, part of King's College School of Medicine.

This led to his PhD in 2000. Felty’s syndrome is a rare complication of rheumatoid arthritis in which the spleen becomes enlarged and the neutrophil count (one of the white cell subtypes) falls, leaving the patient vulnerable to overwhelming infection.

He has worked as a Consultant Rheumatologist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich since 2000, and continued to work there after it merged with the other two sites that made up South London Healthcare Trust in 2009, and then with University Hospital Lewisham, with which it merged in 2013 to form Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust. 

He was Director of Medical Education from 2003 to 2013, and from 2013 to 2018 was Clinical Director for Dermatology, Neurology and Rheumatology at Lewisham & Greenwich.

He has continued to develop his interests in rheumatoid and other forms of inflammatory arthritis, but is also interested in the full range of musculoskeletal pain disorders, including fibromyalgia.

Since 2001, he has been involved in the care of people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), and now runs a weekly private Fatigue Clinic at Keats House, St Thomas Street, London SE1.

In addition to these interests, he also has an interest in the evidence based management of septic arthritis, in which capacity he has chaired a national guideline group and published numerous papers, including in the BMJ, The Lancet and Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Key Publications

Felty’s syndrome.  G Coakley, JS Lanchbury.  Review.  Current Medical Literature - Rheumatology.  Royal Society of Medicine.  1998;17/2:35-39.

A Fas promoter polymorphism at position –670 in the enhancer region does not confer susceptibility to Felty’s and large granular lymphocyte syndromes.  G Coakley, N Manolios, TP Loughran Jr, GS Panayi, JS Lanchbury.  Rheumatology.  1999;38:883-886.

Current perspectives on the genetics of rheumatoid arthritis.  M Fife, G Coakley, JS Lanchbury. Chapter in 'Rheumatoid arthritis: new frontiers in pathogenesis and treatment.' GS Firestein, GS Panayi and FA Wollheim (Eds.) 2000. Oxford University Press.

Genetic polymorphism of IL-12 p40 gene in immune-mediated disease.  MA Hall, E McGlinn, G Coakley, K Boki, A Young, D Middleton, E Kaklamani, H Moutsopoulos, TP Loughran Jr, WER Ollier, GS Panayi, JS Lanchbury.  Genes and Immunity 2000;1:219-224. 

MHC haplotypic associations in Felty’s and large granular lymphocyte syndromes are secondary to allelic association with HLA-DRB1*0401. G Coakley, D Brooks, M Iqbal, E Kondeatis, R Vaughan, TP Loughran Jr, GS Panayi, JS Lanchbury.  Rheumatology 2000;39:393-398.

CD8+CD57+ T cells from the healthy elderly suppress neutrophil development in vitro: implications for the neutropenia of Felty’s and large granular lymphocyte syndromes.

G Coakley, M Iqbal, D Brooks, GS Panayi, JS Lanchbury.  Arthritis & Rheumatism 2000;43(4):834-843.

Autoantibodies against granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor and interleukin-3 are rare in patients with Felty's syndrome. Hellmich B, Ciaglo A, Schatz H, Coakley G. Ann Rheum Dis.  2004;63(7):862-6.

Analysis of predictors of success in the MRCP (UK) PACES examination in candidates attending a revision course. Bessant R, Bessant D, Chesser A, Coakley G.

Postgrad Med J.2006;82(964):145-9.

Acute hot joint.  Mathews CJ, Coakley G. British Journal of Hospital Medicine (Lond). 2006;67(5):232-4.

BSR & BHPR, BOA, RCGP and BSAC guidelines for management of the hot swollen joint in adults.  Coakley G, Mathews C, Field M et al. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2006;45(8):1039-41

Guideline for the management of the hot swollen joint in adults with a particular focus on septic arthritis.  Weston V, Coakley G.  Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2006;58(3):492-3.

Polyarticular septic arthritis. Christodoulou C, Gordon P, Coakley G. British Medical Journal. 2006;25;333(7578):1107-8

Management Of Septic Arthritis – A Systematic Review. Mathews CJ, Kingsley G, Field M, Jones A, Weston VC, Phillips M, Walker D, Coakley G.  Annals of Rheumatic Disease.  2007;66(4):440-5.

Septic arthritis: current diagnostic and therapeutic algorithm.  Mathews CJ, Coakley G.  Current Opinion in Rheumatology.  2008:20;457-462.

Seminar: Bacterial septic arthritis in Adults.  Mathews CJ, Field M, Jones A, Weston VC, Coakley G.  Lancet. 2010:375;846-855.

What’s new in the management of bacterial septic arthritis? Chander S, Coakley G.  Current Infectious Disease Reports. 2011:13;478-484.

Synovial fluid tests. Al-Shakarchi, I., Coakley, G. Medicine 2014:42(4);202-204

Surgery is not always best for lumbar spinal stenosis. Coakley G. BMJ. 2016 Aug 23;354.

Neutrophilic urticarial dermatosis: a novel association with poststreptococcal rheumatic disease. Salam A, Papalexopoulou N, White JM, Martin B, Coakley G, McGibbon DH.  Clin Exp Dermatol. 2018 Apr;43(3):311-314.

Septic arthritis: time to rethink service delivery?  Arumalla N, Coakley G.  Lancet Infect Dis. 2019 Dec 17.

Professional Memberships

Clinical Interests

  • All types of Adult Arthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Felty’s Syndrome
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis
  • Axial Spondyloarthritis
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Scleroderma
  • Inflammatory Myositis
  • Sjögren’s Syndrome
  • Gout
  • Back pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • CFS/ME
  • Occupational aspects of rheumatic disease

Professional Memberships

  • Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London
  • British Medical Association
  • Chair of the Education & Training Committee, British Society for Rheumatology
  • British Society for Rheumatology

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