Patients shape musculoskeletal service

Patient power is the driving force behind a new musculoskeletal service for patients in North Kirklees.

Musculoskeletal (MSK) services support adults with over 200 different conditions affecting joints, bones, muscles and soft tissues and covers individual services such as:

  • Orthopaedics (the area of medicine dealing with conditions affecting bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves)
  • Rheumatology
  • Physiotherapy
  • MSK Pain Management
  • Occupational Therapy

The new service has been developed with input from patients who provided information about their experiences and needs and advice about what improvements were needed.

Patients identified that they wanted:

  • to be able to access more services closer to home and for there to be greater flexibility of appointment times
  • to only need to tell their story once
  • to be able to access a specialist quicker when they have a relapse or complication
  • more support to be provided in a group setting, where appropriate.

Dr Nadeem Ghafoor a local GP and lead for musculoskeletal services at NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said:

“Patients were given an opportunity to tell us what they wanted from the service and that helped us to develop our approach, which we believe will bring huge improvements for local people.”

The new service will be in place from 1 October 2016 and will be provided by Connect Health, the largest specialist provider of musculoskeletal services in the UK.  The core service will be located in Dewsbury Health Centre with some support available closer to home in a number of locations across North Kirklees.

Amongst other things, the new service will offer:

  • More flexible appointment times
  • The option of follow-up support over the phone
  • The ability for some patients to self-refer, without having to go back to their GP
  • Reduced waiting times
  • Faster referral to specialist hospital services where needed
  • Community based group therapy
  • A single point of access for referrers.

Jon Lowe, Managing Director of Connect Health said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded the contract to deliver the new community MSK service in North Kirklees. We will ensure a smooth transition to the new service for patients and plan to build on the work that has already been done to help shape a first class service for the residents of the area.”


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