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New service for MSK patients

A new service designed to make sure patients with joint, muscle, ligament and bone problems receive fast, effective help has launched thanks to an investment of £300,000 from NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The MSK (musculoskeletal) triage service, which is being run by specialist physiotherapists from East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH), began on Monday (4 June). Its aim is to ensure that patients with non-urgent problems can receive help quickly, from the right professional and close to home, avoiding a referral to hospital wherever possible.

Traditionally, anyone with MSK issues would be referred to James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (JPUH) by their GP.

Although urgent and more serious cases will continue to be referred to hospital in the same way, the new service gives family doctors the opportunity to refer non-urgent cases, such as general wear and tear to the hip or knee, to the MSK triage service. Physios will then complete an assessment and any tests, such as x-rays, before beginning treatment, and can also refer cases onto JPUH’s consultants, if necessary.

It is estimated the service will lead to around 110 fewer referrals to JPUH’s pain, orthopaedics and rheumatology departments each month, in turn helping to manage demand and ensuring services remain available for those in the greatest clinical need.

Dr Mark Lim, programme director for clinical commissioning with the CCG, said: “We are really pleased to launch this new service, which will ensure that people with a range of MSK issues can be seen by the right professional as soon as possible.

“The specialist treatment offered by the service includes self-help advice and exercises, as well as access to physiotherapy, exercise classes, pain management sessions and injection therapy. In many cases this support will make it possible for the patient to be able to manage their condition successfully themselves, without the need for a trip to hospital or more invasive procedures such as surgery.

“The service is based at several different sites across Great Yarmouth and Waveney, which means that patients can chose the base which is most convenient and access the specialist care they need closer to home.”

published on 05/06/2018

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