A new integrated Musculoskeletal (MSK) service being provided across East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen is celebrating after winning a prestigious British Society for Rheumatology Best Practice Award.
The Integrated MSK, Pain & Rheumatology service, which is managed by East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, came top in the category of ‘Service Configuration and Pathways’. This was for a hugely successful piece of work alongside East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Groups.
As part of the process, a small group of experts, including the Head of Policy for the British Society of Rheumatology, a consultant in Rheumatology and a health economist visited the service. They were extremely impressed with the changes that include a single point of access for all MSK, Orthopaedic, Pain & Rheumatology referrals to access either community or hospital based services.
Dr Tony Mitchell, GP with Special Interest (GPwSI) and Clinical Lead for the integrated service, said “We are really delighted and proud to win this award which gives the new integrated MSK, Pain & Rheumatology service national recognition. This has been a huge piece of work that has involved a wide range on input from patients, GPs and other healthcare experts. This will provide a platform to go on and further develop this service that will support and treat the increasing numbers of patients with musculoskeletal conditions.”
“This integrated service ensures that patients are seen closer to home; by the right person in the right place at the right time; and to give patients the ability to move easily between varying levels of care as necessary. Each referral is assessed by experts who then make the decision as to which treatment path the patient needs to take.”
Dr Mike Ions, Chief Clinical Officer, NHS East Lancashire CCG said: “It is an immense achievement to win this award. It is well deserved as this is a really good example of the expertise of patients being tapped into to create a first class, patient-centred service.
“The new service provides a single point of access for adult referrals. This means that patient referrals will be assessed by a team of clinicians who will then direct the patient to the most appropriate service before an appointment is given – meaning they will be booked into the right clinic, first time.”
Dr Chris Clayton, Clinical Chief Officer for Blackburn with Darwen CCG said “The new service has been developed to streamline the way referrals are made and to ensure that the experience for the patient is as efficient as can be.
“We are really pleased that we are able to work so closely across the health services to achieve these fantastic results. The changes implemented will greatly improve care for our patients and the health professionals such as the GPs and staff referring into and working in the service.”