Boost for physiotherapy

Physiotherapy has been given a boost in a major redesign of musculoskeletal services in Cambridgeshire.

Key elements of the reorganisation include providing more care in the community and improved access to physiotherapy through self referral. Sarah Saul, MSK physiotherapy business manager for Cambridgeshire Community services trust, said: ‘The expansion and improvement of community services is a key step in providing appropriate alternatives for GPs and their patients, thus reducing the need for referral to hospital based services.’     She added: ‘The development of self referral into community services improves access and responds to people’s wishes to help themselves.’ Jill Gamlin, consultant physio and MSK clinical lead for the trust, described development of a second tier of multidisciplinary community service as ‘exciting and very satisfying’. CSP professional adviser Ruth ten Hove welcomed the service as  ‘an excellent model of care’. The new service is the result of a partnership project involving the community trust, Cambridge University Hospitals foundation trust and others, including local commissioners. It aims to ensure better use of resources and that patients are treated more quickly and conveniently. Details of staffing implications were not available as Frontline went to press.

The three elements of the new MSK service:

  1. PhysioDirect, a telephone-based advice service, will provide early access to a physiotherapist for advice and self management. 
  2. Expansion of physiotherapy services to ensure that patients requiring face-to-face assessment and treatment will be seen within an appropriate timeframe and referred on to more specialist care when necessary.  Access to physiotherapy services will be through self referral, GP referral or PhysioDirect.
  3. A second tier multidisciplinary community service will be developed using  the skills of physiotherapy extended scope practitioners, from both primary care and secondary trusts, GPs with special interest, and a rheumatology consultant to assess and manage patients. Access to this service will be through GPs, physio services and PhysioDirect.
Author
Gary Henson

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