New musculoskeletal service for Hastings and Rother

Conquest Hospital, Hastings.
Conquest Hospital, Hastings.

A brand new integrated service for people with musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions in Hastings and Rother promises to deliver some ‘significant improvements’ for patients.

Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has appointed East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT) to provide the new service from July.

MSK services include any service that looks at a person’s bones, joints and muscles, and ESHT will be responsible for providing the fully integrated MSK service.

This will include orthopaedics, rheumatology, physiotherapy, orthotics and podiatry.

Benefits of the new service will include:

• Single point of referral for all people with MSK conditions.

• Triage by extended scope practitioners to ensure people are seen by the right person, first time.

• Information hub to help patients access information about their condition and care.

• Emphasis on self-care and self-management to empower and enable people to manage their own health and care whenever that’s possible.

• Work with GPs to implement shared decision making – helping people make informed decisions about their treatment.

• A more seamless service for patients through the different stages of treatment and care – dealing with one organisation, ESHT, from start to finish.

The new contract, which will run for five years, has been awarded following a nine-month procurement process.

Patients currently being referred to Virgin Care Services will automatically be transferred to the new ESHT service by the end of June and will not be affected by the change of provider.

Over the course of the contract ESHT expects to be able to offer patients a choice of where they want to be seen, including Bexhill, Rye and Hastings.

Dr Binodh Baskaran, a GP at Little Common Surgery and a member of Hastings and Rother CCG’s governing body, who played an active role in the procurement process, said: “Following consultation with local people and healthcare professionals we designed the new service to provide patients with a smoother journey through the various MSK services. The packages of care available will also include elements of self-help and self-management, which should improve the experience of people using MSK services, making them feel more involved and able to play a role in enhancing their own health and well-being.

“We look forward to working with ESHT to roll out the new service and monitoring it as it evolves over the next five years.”

Dr Adrian Bull chief executive at EHST, said: “We are delighted to have been successful in our bid to provide an integrated musculoskeletal service for people in Hastings and Rother.

“We look forward to providing a fully integrated service over the next five years which will improve the experience of local people using these services.”

The new service forms part of the East Sussex Better Together programme which aims to transform health and social care services across East Sussex to ensure proactive, joined up care.

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