West Midlands

Functional Restoration Service

To provide group based, interdisciplinary, combined physical and psychological treatment (CPPP) service to patients with persistent non-specific back pain, to help restore function and quality of life. 

The service’s aim is to train patients to become experts at understanding their persistent low back pain, to manage flare-ups in pain effectively, to set goals to improve function, to reduce reliance on analgesic medication, and to engage in healthy behaviours

The service uses a cognitive behavioural approach, as recommended in the National Back Pain and Radicular Pain Pathway (Pathfinder) (2017) and NICE Guidelines (2016) as an effective way to manage persistent non-specific back pain and disability.

Prescribed Only Medications (POMs) issued in a musculoskeletal physiotherapy primary care

Non-medical prescribing was introduced in the United Kingdom (UK) to improve healthcare service efficiency, access to medicines and support service innovation. From 2013, independent prescribing was extended to include physiotherapists. Patients are facing increasingly long waiting times to see their GPs, and delays getting medication to aid their musculoskeletal ailments. This report aims to explore patient satisfaction of this service in a primary care musculoskeletal physiotherapy setting. IPOPS started provision of independent prescribing during physiotherapy sessions by a single physiotherapy practitioner in March 2017.

Implementing and evaluating a pilot physiotherapist-led osteoarthritis clinic in general practice

Joint pain due to osteoarthritis (OA) is a major cause of disability, work-loss and reduced quality of life in older adults. NICE clinical guidelines recommend core OA treatment should include education, exercise and weight-loss (when applicable). However, despite the evidence-base, many people with OA do not currently receive these treatments. This report describes and evaluates the implementation of a clinical-academic physiotherapist OA clinic embedded into a general practice.

Producing a data-inputting and analysis calculator to facilitate the standardisation of outcome measures

The advantages for using patient-reported outcome measures (PROMS) have been well documented in the literature. The need for physiotherapists to use standardised PROMS has been recognised and is recommended in clinical guidelines. Although the importance of standardising the use of PROMS within the physiotherapy profession is well recognised, it has largely failed to be delivered in practice. A number of barriers for implementation of standardised outcome measures has been reported including the lack of knowledge and the lack of instructions in relation to the application, scoring and interpretation of the outcome measure(s).

Musculoskeletal (MSK) physiotherapy teams within Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership Trust (SSOTP) used a variety of outcome measures including the EuroQol (EQ-5D-5L) alongside condition specific PROMS and a patient experience-reported experience measure, in line with CSP recommendations. Nevertheless, the teams did not use the same outcome measure and data collection, inputting and analysis methods varied considerably. Therefore, the use of outcome measures and data collection needed to be standardised.

Physiotherapy assistants in the musculoskeletal outpatients setting

Physiotherapy assistants accounted for approximately 20% of the physiotherapy workforce across Stoke on Trent Community Health Services. Although their job descriptions clearly stated that the post was primarily clinical, their role depended heavily on the qualified physiotherapists and how they utilised the clinical skills of physiotherapy assistants. As a result in some clinics/clinical areas physiotherapy assistants had a predominant clinical role whereas in others they fulfilled what was primarily an administrative role. This latter trend led to physiotherapy assistants not being able to utilise their clinical skills and to job dissatisfaction as well as disparity in the clinical service provided to patients of equal clinical needs.

Routine x-rays for suspected Frozen Shoulder: a retrospective review

Frozen shoulder is a common condition and current guidelines state that it is a diagnosis of exclusion. Along with a history and clinical examination, routine x-ray is mandated to rule out any masquerading pathology such as fracture, dislocation, metastatic lesions or severe OA. Despite the certainty of the guidelines there is a lack of evidence to support the use of routine x-rays in this situation.

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