Patient service praised by ortho surgeons

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A new service for patients referred to the orthopaedic service has become

permanent after an eight month trial period.

In the integrated musculo-skeletal (iMSK) service (a collaboration of different health providers and commissioners including University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT)) clinically triaged patients are reviewed by a community based physiotherapy-led service, which has resulted in significant reductions in referrals to a surgeon for review.

Since its launch last December the new service has seen 507 new patients in community clinics at Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal and at Dalton, nearBarrow-in-Furness, which have resulted in a significant reduction in referrals to an orthopaedic surgeon.

Nigel Courtman, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon for UHMBT, said: “It is fantastic that the service is now permanent. You can see from the figures that the service has been a success.

“The iMSK service for patients living in Cumbria has been a long time coming. The concept is not new, and there are many well established services throughout the UK including a very successful one on our doorstep, based in Heysham.

“Many patients with musculoskeletal problems don’t get to see an Orthopaedic Surgeon as their first contact. A large part of their assessment and treatment can be based on physical therapy, and indeed many patients have up until now eventually ended up being treated by other medical professionals rather than undergoing anoperation.

“Patients are being seen in a quicker, timely, manner and the feedback we are receiving is excellent.”