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New integrated musculoskeletal service in Lancashire

Posted on the 10th May 2018

From 1 August, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust will be working with its partners to deliver a new service that will help improve the health of people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders (RMDs) in central Lancashire with a focus on prevention and early intervention.

The Integrated Musculoskeletal (IMSK) Service has been commissioned by Greater Preston Clinical Commissioning Group and Chorley & South Ribble Clinical Commissioning Group. The service seeks to improve outcomes and experience, reduce variation for people who have problems with their muscles or joints using guidance, education and new technology, and includes teams that will be able to deal with community physiotherapy, rheumatology, musculoskeletal issues, chronic fatigue and persistent pain.

Lancashire Care will deliver the service in partnership with Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Ascenti, an independent provider of physiotherapy services, and Trainer Rx, a telerehabilitation and recovery program that enables people with musculoskeletal injuries to understand their condition and how to manage it.

Dr Elizabeth MacPhie, Rheumatology Consultant at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We are delighted to be working with our partners who share a similar ethos and values to us and who employ local and international experts when it comes to rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders and health care. We are really looking forward to making a difference to the lives of people with musculoskeletal issues.

“The service will provide a new and integrated model of care with a special focus on prevention and early intervention. It will embody a culture of health promotion and wellness, taking a holistic approach to patient needs. This is an exciting project and we are looking forward to making a difference to people.”

Dr Gora Bangi, local GP and Chair of NHS Chorley and South Ribble CCG, said:

“This service will provide a better experience for patients, who will be seen and treated in the right place for their need, with a smoother transition between services.

“Throughout the procurement process, we had input from patients, clinicians and the bidders themselves to help design a service that reflects the wants and needs of service users and healthcare professionals.

“Patients will continue to receive high quality, clinically safe care in locations that are closer to patients’ homes, and we look forward to working with Lancashire Care to implement and develop the service.

Karen Partington, Chief Executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals said:

“We are delighted to be launching this new service which will provide additional support for patients with rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders in our communities. At Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, we are committed to getting involved with projects such as these to improve the care that is available for our patients. We are looking forward to working with our partners to see how this new service performs, and how we can continue to make a difference to people.”

CEO of Ascenti Stephanie Dobrikova said:

“As a trusted provider of NHS Community Physiotherapy services across some parts of Preston, Chorley and South Ribble already, we have a unique insight and understanding of the needs of the local population. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Chorley and South Ribble CCG, NHS Greater Preston CCG, the local community and other healthcare agencies, to deliver an Integrated MSK service that puts patients’ needs first. Our local team are looking forward to helping more people to elevate their health and live active lives.”

Dr Michael Oberlander from Trainer Rx said:

"Physical therapy is an effective pain management solution which addresses the underlying medical condition. Telerehab holds the promise of improving patient outcomes while reducing reliance and potential abuse of opioid pain medicine.”

The service is valued at £7 million and will run for five years. RMDs are common and comprise over 200 conditions that affect joints, bones, muscles, rarer autoimmune diseases and back pain. They are often progressive and mostly cause some form of pain that over time may become chronic. They are the single biggest cause of disability in adults and have a major impact on people’s health and quality of life, often impairing normal, physical and social functioning.

RMDs affect over 10 million adults in the UK. An estimated 8-10 million people in UK live with arthritis and 40 percent of all adults aged 70 or over have osteoarthritis of the knee. 60 percent of people who are on long-term sick leave cite rheumatic or musculoskeletal problems as the reason. One third of people with rheumatoid arthritis will have stopped working within two years of onset and half will be unable to work within 10 years. These economic costs of RMDs in relation to absence from work are estimated at over £7 billion per year.