NHS commissioners in Cheshire have appointed physiotherapist Lisa Horne as their musculoskeletal (MSK) clinical lead, replacing the GP who previously held the post.
Earlier this month Halton CCG began a trial at a GP surgery with physiotherapists as the first point of contact for MSK patients
Ms Horne told Frontline that Halton clinical commissioning group (CCG) appointed her on 1 October. Since then, she had been working half a day each week offering clinical insights to the transformation manager.
She said the new role ‘dovetails well’ with her ongoing work heading the clinical assessment and treatment service team at Halton General Hospital in Runcorn.
‘The CCG is looking at MSK provision in the Halton area, which consists of Runcorn, Widnes and the surrounding borough,’ she said.
‘A review of the whole process and pathways from GPs through to physiotherapy, the clinical assessment and treatment service and secondary care is under way.’
Asked what she wanted to achieve in her new role, Ms Horne said: ‘We hope to make MSK provision for patients in the Halton area the best it can be. We’re looking at where we can change the way we work, whether we can break down barriers and whether staff can do different roles.’
As part of this review, earlier this month the CCG began a trial at a GP surgery in which physiotherapists, rather than doctors, are the first point of contact for patients with MSK issues.
Ms Horne said that when patients called the surgery for an appointment the phone system asked whether they had a muscle or joint problem and could then direct them accordingly.
The three-month trial will give patients with MSK problems a 20-minute appointment with an MSK physio, instead of the standard 10-minute GP appointment. Physiotherapists will be expected to assess the patient, provide treatment and advice, and possibly refer them on during an appointment.
‘It fits in with the Five year forward view,’ said Ms Horne. ‘We are trying to look at the national picture and at how we can fit into that model for improving services.’
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