A new framework has been launched aimed at driving transformation in rheumatology physiotherapy.
Endorsed by the British Society for Rheumatology and the CSP, the framework delivers evidence-based guidance for those working in rheumatology and MSK.
It aims to set the standard for patient care and supporting service delivery, role development and commissioning.
It aligns with the NICE guidance of providing specialist physiotherapy for patients with inflammatory disease, ensuring excellence in assessment and equity of treatment.
Consultant Physiotherapist at Salford Royal Hospital Will Gregory, Consultant Physiotherapist in MSK and Rheumatology at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust Dr Carol McCrum, and Hannah Chambers, an Advanced Practice Physiotherapist in Rheumatology at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, developed the framework.
They undertook extensive research to identify the breadth of specialty skills and expertise in rheumatology physio, but also the wide variations in time spent with patients and activities undertaken. A key factor behind the development of the framework was the discovery that descriptors of specialist rheumatology physio did not exist.
Dr McCrum said, ‘The framework should help the rheumatology community to demand that this level of skill is incorporated into every service delivery.
This specialist knowledge is essential for safe and quality care.
The framework authors also hope it will be used to show the importance of advanced roles for AHPs in rheumatology.
Gill Rawlinson, assistant director of practice and development at the CSP, welcomed the development, stating this ‘will be a very enabling and transformational document, and much needed’.
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