A new clinic is to open in Crowborough to treat patients with muscle, bone & joint conditions

A new service is to be rolled-out across East Sussex so people with muscle, bone and joint conditions can be treated closer to home by a team of local experts.

The GP led body responsible for planning local health services have procured the new musculoskeletal service from a consortium of NHS, charitable and independent providers, including Horder Heathcare, based in Crowborough.

Photo: Sussex MSK Partnership

Photo: Sussex MSK Partnership

Sussex MSK Partnership is a not-for-profit consortium which brings together local experts from primary care, physical and mental health services.

The new service will be rolled-out over the coming months in phases, and patients who require further diagnostics, care and treatment will begin to receive referrals from their GP.

A spokesperson for the High Weald Lewes Havens Clinical Commissioning Group said:

Whilst many patients currently experience good care for their musculoskeletal conditions, we had heard from patients and GPs that there was room for improvement particularly around coordinating better access to a wider range of clinical experts and ensuring equitable access to care across our reach.  This new and improved way of working will ensure patients have the opportunity to discuss a number of treatment options first and are supported to make an informed choice about their care so they see the appropriate clinician first time round.  By working together with local clinicians and patients we have been able to design a service that will transform the way local people are treated for their musculoskeletal conditions.

Patients will be reviewed using a multidisciplinary (mixed professional) approach so their physical and mental health needs can be considered together.  They will then be advised of the treatment options that might be suitable for them and be supported to make informed choices about what care and treatment to go ahead with and where they would like it to take place.  All emergency or trauma related MSK treatment or care remains unchanged and will continue to be delivered as usual in local hospitals.

Over the coming months dedicated MSK hubs and clinics will be developed within existing NHS or primary care locations across the area including Crowborough, Seaford, Eastbourne, Lewes, Uckfield, Heathfield and Hailsham.  At these sites a range of diagnostics, care and treatment can be offered to patients, to bring support much closer to where patients live and want to be seen.

CCGs decided to procure a new service following feedback from local patients and GPs who had reported significant waiting times for some MSK services, with varying treatment options offered to patients.  By introducing a far more simplified and coordinated approach to the way patients are referred, diagnosed and treated, patients should experience improved clinical outcomes and have a far better experience of care.

Any patient who has any concerns about their health should continue to visit their GP in the first instance.

Rachel Dixon, Joint Clinical Director, Sussex MSK Partnership said:

The new service will provide access to services closer to home, ensuring patients are seen by the right person at the right time.  The partnership will monitor each patient’s progress at every stage ensuring each patient’s care is continuous and of high quality with a reduction in waiting times for appointments and diagnostic tests.  The service has been planned and will be evaluated throughout by patient involvement with the aim of providing a better experience for the patients of East Sussex.

The Sussex MSK Partnership includes:

  • Brighton and Hove Integrated Care Service,
  • Horder Healthcare,
  • Sussex Community NHS Trust
  • Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

It works closely with:

  • The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS),
  • Local hospital trusts (East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust and Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust) and
  • Medical Imaging Partnership (MIP).

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