Musculoskeletal services

Musculoskeletal services (MSK)

A review in 2021 of Lincolnshire’s Musculoskeletal (MSK) services offered opportunities for improvement for both patients and staff.

This focused on supporting patients to achieve better outcomes, care, and experience, while helping the multidisciplinary team to work better together across different organisations through better care co-ordination and simplifying processes.

Clinicians have now re-designed the elective hip and knee joint replacement care pathway to support a single MSK service working across primary care, community, acute and social care services.  Improved and personalised care for people is at the heart of this, promoting shared decision-making and self-management through early health promotion and prevention.

The new pathway is being introduced across primary and secondary care. The benefits include:

  • quicker access to specialist care
  • a focus on what matters to the patient, with shared discussions and decision-making involving the patient
  • access to virtual clinics involving the Consultant, First Contact Physiotherapist and the patient
  • fewer unnecessary referrals and more efficient use of follow-up appointments following surgery 
  • opportunity for continuous improvement of the new pathway through trialling new ways of working and gathering patient feedback

Patient feedback so far has been very positive, highlighting effective verbal and written communication between patients, clinicians and services. Patients have described how they have a clear understanding of the transition between each stage of their journey, and how they have been involved in informed decision-making about their care. Patients have also described how being treated with care and compassion, having privacy and dignity and their views listened to and taken into consideration at the different stages of the pathway has also been important.

The feedback also gives focus to ensuring there is sufficient support for patients to manage their ongoing care.

Exciting plans for 2023 include:

  • supporting more Primary Care Networks to join the new pathway
  • the roll out of prehab clinics across Lincolnshire, which support patients to prepare for surgery, following a successful pilot in 2022. 
  • a new co-production group enabling people with lived MSK experience to contribute to the development and delivery of the pathway and other related pieces of work.

The ambition is to build an outstanding seamless pathway giving a positive patient experience.