Allied Health Professional lands new National Rheumatology lead role at Connect Health

Connect Health announces the appointment of Michael Dare as Head of Rheumatology, who commenced on 1 March 2022.

29 March 2022

Connect Health, a leading provider of community services including mental health, MSK (musculoskeletal), chronic pain and rheumatology, announces the appointment of Michael Dare as Head of Rheumatology, who commenced on 1 March 2022.

Uniquely, this is a national role covering Connect Health’s community rheumatology services situated in Essex, Kent, Wolves and Hertfordshire.

As an experienced Physiotherapist in Rheumatology, Michael is an example of Allied Health Professionals taking on senior leadership roles in community Rheumatology. The role will be supported by an additional new role at Connect Health; National Consultant Rheumatologist, which we will also be announcing shortly.


Michael Dare, Head of Rheumatology at Connect Health added

I’m really looking forward to bringing new ideas and reducing variation across all services, making sure patients are seeing the right people at the right time in the whole Rheumatology pathway. I’m passionate about developing models which ensure the sustainability of Rheumatology pathways within the NHS.


The position provides leadership across all rheumatology services and will look at creating new ways of working, utilising the multi-professional workforce and group consultations and expanding the use of technology to ensure resources are optimised. Patients and colleagues will benefit from the streamlining of processes, monitoring performance and ensuring the highest quality of standards are met.

Dr Marwan Al-Dawoud, Director of Clinical Delivery, Sports and Exercise Medicine Doctor at Connect Health comments on the appointment

I’m really pleased that Mike has grabbed the Rheumatology opportunity with both hands. It’s a rare opportunity for a clinician to hold a leadership role covering multiple rheumatology services. Connect Health thrives on change and new ways of thinking, and this is a perfect demonstration of the way the leadership team encourages the growth of ideas and people.


Michael joins Connect Health’s other heads of service – Andrew Cuff Head of MSK and Gail Sowden Head of Pain – a strong clinical team who thrive on continual improvement and creative leadership. Read more.


Learn more about Michael

Michael has been working in Rheumatology for five years with Connect Health working as an advanced physiotherapy practitioner (APP) in Rheumatology. Michael trained as a physiotherapist in South Africa and went on to complete a coursework masters in musculoskeletal medicine and a clinical doctorate degree. After working as an APP for three years, he went on to lead the community service in East Kent.

Michael is passionate about empowering and upskilling allied health professionals and nurses to work in key roles in Rheumatology to support and improve outcomes and wait times for patients while ensuring the patient sees the correct practitioner first time.

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