Petition pays off as physio provision extended across Northumberland

Physio provision for a new healthcare service will now be available at more places across Northumberland.

Monday, 1st July 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd July 2019, 12:25 pm
Cheviot Primary Care Centre in Wooler

Patient practice groups in Wooler had led to complaints that plans for a new musculoskeletal (MSK) and pain service in Northumberland did not include the provision of a physiotherapist in the Wooler GPs’ surgeries.

They submitted a 200-signature petition – which has since doubled – complaining that elderly patients should not have to travel as far as Berwick or Alnwick Infirmary for physio treatment.

NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has bowed to pressure and will now offer physio provision in more locations.

Siobhan Brown, CCG chief operating officer, said: "Following discussions that have taken place in the mobilisation phase and taking account of feedback from practices and patients, services will also be delivered to match the expected local demand from Wooler, Amble, Seahouses, Prudhoe, Ponteland, Allendale, Haltwhistle and Bellingham health centres."

Other sites which were already included in the scheme are: Alnwick Infirmary, Berwick Infirmary, Rothbury Cottage Hospital, Wansbeck General Hospital, Morpeth NHS Centre, Blyth Community Hospital and Hexham General Hospital.

The new service will begin from the originally selected venues this month. The CCG is hoping to have services running from the additional sites in August.

The term 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.

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.

Wooler Parish Council chairman Mark Mather said: “I’m over the moon. We must thank the two patient groups at Cheviot and Glendale for the work they put in to call a meeting and get a petition up and running. It’s down to them fighting for this community that we’ve had a win.”