Injecting improvements

Two physiotherapists have helped cut waiting times for epidural injections for patients with severe back pain.

Elaine Dechow and Jackie Kidd had training in delivering spinal injections alongside hospital consultants. They now have their own list of patients running alongside that of consultants in the rheumatology department at Poole hospital, Dorset. At a weekly clinic, a consultant gives injections to six patients, and the extended scope practitioners, to four. The waiting list for the procedure is now down from over 12 weeks to under two. Both physios did an MSc module in injection therapy at Southampton University, and then the Society of Orthopaedic Medicine’s spinal injection course. After passing that exam, and with extra training from their consultants, the physios were allowed to inject their own patients with acute low back pain and sciatica or radicular leg pain. Ms Dechow said physiotherapists with a solid training in injection therapy could develop the same extra skills, but it was important to have the backing and support of consultants.

Graham Clews

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