MSK physiotherapy service standards launched

The first Musculoskeletal (MSK) Physiotherapy Service Standards have been launched.

MSK physio service standards

Their aim is to:

  • help CSP members to improve MSK services
  • support and empower physiotherapists in evaluating current MSK practice, identify individual and service learning needs, whilst also addressing potential gaps in services
  • provide patients and the public with the knowledge to support informed decision making within MSK services

Alongside the standards are: video introductions to the standards, top tips for implementing the standards, examples of putting them into practice. The Audit Tool is in its final stages of testing and will be available soon.

The standards

There are eight separate standards, with quality measures for each. They are applicable to any healthcare setting within the UK and are aimed at services supporting adults over the age of 16. 

The standards should be used in conjunction with competency frameworks and have been developed from high level evidence, including National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance. 

How they were developed

Throughout 2021 Annette Bishop, the commissioned researcher and lead author for the Standards, worked closely with a working group, whose membership included those with physiotherapy, patient, clinical, research and education focus to develop the first draft set. In September the standards were open to consultation with multiple stakeholders groups including clinicians, patients, charity partners and commissioners. 

Dr Bishop said: 

I hope services will use them as a tool to demonstrate the value of MSK physiotherapy as well as for identifying areas for quality improvement.

'I also hope patients and the public will have a greater understanding of what constitutes quality MSK physiotherapy.’ 

Measuring good practice

CSP professional adviser Julie Blackburn said: ‘These standards are vital to providing organisations and MSK physiotherapy services with a standardised way of measuring good practice.’ 

CSP assistant director Sue Hayward-Giles said: 

This first set of MSK service standards, with the audit tool, will provide organisations, clinicians, patients and commissioners a clear framework on which to set service expectations and measure good practice. 

‘Given the pace of change that the pandemic has driven I expect the standards to also support services to assess what change to consolidate and identify the quality improvement required.’

Contact the MSK Service standards team 


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