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New Barnsley service to improve waiting times for back, muscle and joint pain

New Barnsley service to improve waiting times for back, muscle and joint pain
20 December 2017

A new way of assessing and referring Barnsley people for back and joint problems will start in April 2018. Following guidance from NHS England, Barnsley CCG reviewed the way the current services worked across Barnsley and updated the way these services need to be offered.

A new contract has been awarded to South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SWYPFT) at a value of £4.5m over the next three years.

The new service will improve waiting times for an initial clinical assessment, as GPs will now refer people directly to the assessment team, who will contact them within two days.

The current service meant that not everybody gets an initial assessment and so be referred for one type of treatment, only to find that it wasn’t the best one for them at that time. These different ways of referring mean that people could be waiting longer for assessment and treatment.

An initial assessment within two days of a referral is in line with the latest guidance for back, muscle and joint conditions, sometimes called musculoskeletal or MSK, which was published this year by NHS England.

Dr Mehrban Ghani, medical director at Barnsley CCG said: “People told us that the treatments they received were good but the wait for the initial assessment and treatment was often too long. We also know that people can sometimes feel like they don’t have a clear treatment and management plan, which is personalised to them.

“This new service is designed to speed up the time for that initial assessment and ensure everyone has a care plan which fits in with their condition and lifestyle. The term musculoskeletal, or MSK, includes over 200 different conditions which affect your joints, bones, muscles and soft tissues. With such a wide variety of possible treatments and ways to manage those conditions, you can see how it’s important that people get that initial assessment early. We want people to be referred for the right type of treatment, first time.”

Bob Senior, community services manager at South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are delighted that we are able to offer this improved service for the people of Barnsley. When people have MSK problems it can have a devastating impact on their lives, affecting their ability to work and live their lives to the full. This new contract will mean we can offer a speedy response, ensuring people receive the right level of care and support at a time that is right for them. We are pleased that we be able to make a positive difference to the lives of so many people across Barnsley.”

The new service, which also includes treatments such as hydrotherapy and physiotherapy, will start in April 2018.