Northumbria Healthcare NHS has teamed up with Connect Health after being awarded a new contract to improve services for patients with musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders.
The trust have been granted the contract from the NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group following a comprehensive procurement process.
The new service is for patients in Northumberland aged 16 and over with MSK or pain issues where all other conservative treatments have been considered.
The term musculoskeletal condition (MSK) includes well over 200 disorders affecting joints, bones, muscles and soft tissues. Some of the most common conditions that would be seen in the new MSK and pain service include back pain, sprains and strains, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.
Commenting on the new contract, Dr John Warrington, director for Planned Care for the CCG said: “The successful bid was of a high standard with some exciting developments that will enhance the care of Northumberland patients.”
As part of the procurement process, the CCG carried out a period of engagement to provide patients and GPs with an opportunity to comment on how the new service should be designed.
Nicky Moon, deputy director for the Trust said: “We are delighted to have been chosen as the preferred bidder and together with Connect Health, we are looking forward to delivering the best possible service for the people of Northumberland. We are currently working with staff on the implementation plan.”
Musculoskeletal problems are the most common reason for repeat appointments with a GP, comprising up to 30% of primary care consultations nationally. In recent years, as the number of elderly people in the community has increased, the number of people with MSK conditions has also risen.