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Around 5,000 patients accessed UHMBT’s integrated musculoskeletal service last year

James Geary and Helen Seward, Extended Scope Physiotherapists

An easy to access, patient-centred service for people with musculoskeletal problems such as arthritis, hip and knee conditions, joint and muscle injuries and spinal pain is proving to be a success with around 5,000 patients accessing the service last year.

The primary aim of the Integrated Musculoskeletal Service is to ensure that patients are seen by the right person first time.

By using a Shared Decision Making approach the service is involving and supporting patients to make the right decision, for themselves, about their treatment for example by highlighting alternative treatments to hip and knee surgery such as:

  • Physiotherapy/hydrotherapy
  • Corticosteroid and local anaesthetic injections
  • An Escape-pain programme which consists of 12 one-hour sessions, twice a week, over a six week period.
  • The course is aimed at people over 45 years old with a diagnosis of osteoarthritis (chronic joint pain) of the hip and/or knee
  • Referral to the orthopaedic service for consideration of a guided injection into the hip.

James Geary, Extended Scope Physiotherapist, said: “The aim of the service is to get it right first time for our patients and to support them to choose the right treatment for their condition. We’ve had some great feedback from our patients which is really positive for the team and for the service going forward.”

Patient feedback has included:

  • “Considerate and quick.”
  • “Someone who listened well and sorted out the problem.”
  • “I wanted a good explanation about what was happening with my body and I got it. Thank you.”

The team has expanded its specialist clinics for those with musculoskeletal problems across the following sites: Westmorland General Hospital, Ulverston Community Health Centre, Grange Health Centre, Heysham Primary Care Centre, Alfred Barrow Health Centre, Furness General Hospital, Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Millom Health Centre and Queen Victoria Hospital in Morecambe.

This new way of working is another example of Bay Health and Care Partners working together more effectively to provide better care in the community, which will keep people across Morecambe Bay healthier and at home for longer without having to come into hospital.

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