Professor John Axford


Medical interests: Adult and paediatric rheumatology. Musculoskeletal disorders: osteoarthritis, autoimmune rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis. Lupus, paediatric arthritis and back pain.

I have many years of clinical experience with adults and children affected by diseases that involve the musculoskeletal system. I treat patients with a variety of musculoskeletal problems that cause joint and back pain. These symptoms can be due to osteoarthritis or to autoimmune rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus. My other interest is in osteoporosis; this is a disorder that we can now prevent and treat much more effectively. Expertise Professor Axford has many years of experience in diagnosing and managing rheumatic disorders in both the young and old. He has built up an understanding of how these disorders affect individuals and how to put together the best management package. He works closely with other team members. Symptoms investigated Symptoms caused by arthritis:

  • Pain, swelling and stiffness of joints
  • Symptoms caused by rheumatic conditions, which can affect every organ system in the body, for example:
  • Rashes (e.g. psoriasis)
  • Eye pain (e.g. uveitis)
  • Hair loss
  • Shortness of breath
  • Abdominal pain
  • Urinary urgency and frequency
  • Pregnancy issues: miscarriage and pre-eclampsia
  • Bone pain (osteoporotic fracture)

Conditions diagnosed and treated

  • Degenerative joint disorders
  • Autoimmune rheumatic diseases: lupus, vasculitis
  • Paediatric and adolescent disorders
  • Inflammatory joint disorders
  • rheumatoid arthritis, gout, ankylosing spondylitis
  • Bone disorders: osteoporosis, Paget’s disease
  • Pain syndromes: fibromyalgia; regional and generalised pain syndromes in all ages

Procedures performed I offer the following procedures for diagnosis and treatment:

  • Joint aspiration
  • Injections into tender trigger points, tendon sheaths, and joints, to relieve symptoms of pain

Research interests

  • New ways of managing rheumatic diseases and arthritis
  • Glycobiology in medicine


Professor John Axford graduated in medicine from University College London (UCL) in 1981. He then carried out academic medical research at the Middlesex Hospital and University College London, and as a Fulbright Scholar at Tufts University in the USA, leading to an MD. After further clinical training he obtained specialist accreditation in Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology in 1991 and then moved to St George’s, University of London, where he was appointed Professor of Clinical Rheumatology. One of his proudest achievements within the NHS has been the creation of the Sir Joseph Hotung Centre for Musculoskeletal Disorders, which is an integrated musculoskeletal service that opened in 2002.

  • Research: Emeritus Professor of Clinical Rheumatology at St George’s, University of London; Professor Axford has an active research programme looking at the role of sugars in rheumatic disease.
  • Professional memberships: several leading societies, including the British Society of Rheumatology (BSR). He has been a council member and Honorary Secretary, as well as President of the Clinical Immunology Section of the Royal Society of Medicine.
  • Teaching: Professor Axford gives regular teaching seminars to doctors and other clinicians. He has been vice-chair of the Education and Training Committee of the BSR, leading the e-learning initiative and revalidation educational programme.

Until July 2011, Professor Axford was Consultant in Adult and Paediatric Rheumatology for St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust. Now retired from the NHS, he uses his experience exclusively in private practice.


Availability for Consultations

Mon: In Clinic / 14.30 – 17.00 



Thu: Ad hoc / 14.30 – 17.00


Sat: *other times may be available for request

Professor John Axford has a financial interest in the Devonshire Diagnostic Centre Limited

Self Pay Initial consult: £350 (up to 30 minutes) Follow up: £350 (30 minutes)

Insured Initial consult: Within the schedule of charges for specific insurance companies* Follow up: Within the schedule of charges for specific insurance companies* *Please note, some policies do not cover consultations – always check your policy conditions or contact insurer as necessary. **If you wish to book a longer appointment, please discuss this with the secretary and the fees will be advised.  

Contact Us

020 7034 8164