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Bringing local musculoskeletal (MSK) services together

Working with colleagues from NHS Southport and Formby CCG and Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, we have asked service users and carers that have been referred by their GP to Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust physiotherapy and Musculoskeletal Clinical Assessment Service (MCAS), staff that work in the services and staff that refer into the services their thoughts about the following:
  • What’s working well?
  • What’s not working well?
  • What could be improved?

For more information about how we got public and staff views please click links below:

What you said about the current MSK services

  • Long waiting times

“They passed me between services and I didn’t know why.” Patient

“I spent months and months waiting to be seen… In the end I thought ‘forget it, I’ll go private!’” Patient

“I liked the service; my issue was that everything could have been done so much quicker. It’s hard enough getting in to see the doctor, let alone everything afterwards”. Patient

“I was waiting for ages, I was worse by the time I saw them.” Patient

  • Self-management and early advice

“I want to know what I can do to help myself now”. Patient

“I see loads of patients that are much worse by the time they come to the service because they’ve waited for so long – they could have had something basic to do to prevent it from getting worse.” Staff

“Once I got in they just gave me a few exercises and sent me home with some leaflets – ‘I could have just done that to start with!” Patient

  • Using modern technology

“Communications and referral processes could be improved, booking systems and patient reminders could be improved”. Staff

“We should be using modern technology. Why are we still using paper referrals when everything could be electronically? It’d be much easier.” Staff

“I wasn’t given a choice of time and date to attend and it was a bit of a faff trying to re-arrange it.” Patient

What have we done?

  • Brought together some Physiotherapy services (as above) and MCAS –  The combined service will know be known as ‘Joint Health – Integrated MSK Care’
  • Developed patient information posters with useful websites to help manage pain
  • Offer new weekly patient education classes
  • Received and provided staff training
  • Put together patient resource packs
  • Significantly reduced waiting times

Some of the things we are planning to change?

  • Allow patients to refer themselves without seeing their GP
  • Make referrals to the service quicker, slicker and easier
  • Actively promote self-care
  • Offer telephone assessment
  • Focus on what really matters to you
  • Signpost you to a wide range of useful support and information
  • Reduce waiting times for your assessment, treatment, tests and results if required
  • Make sure that you see the right person in the right place first time
  • Introduce a website/app to provide information and support to help you use our services and/or manage your own condition
  • Utilise text messaging
  • Develop Expert Patients Programme
  • Screen out the people that do not want or need surgery
  • Make sure the people that want and need surgery are fit for surgery before referring for surgery
  • Offer virtual clinics e.g. live chat

Keeping you involved

The CCG and the Trust would like to hear from you about how MSK services are working or if you have any further suggestions for change.

You can help us by using:

Your ideas will help us make further improvements to the services we buy

Next steps

Updates on how the service is changing and what you are suggesting will be posted here


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