Faster orthopaedic treatment for patients

Health Minister Andy Burnham has announced new plans for faster, better and more convenient care for the millions of people who suffer from bone and joint ailments.

Elbow fracture
The Musculoskeletal Services Framework (MSF) provides the NHS with new guidance to help improve services for people who suffer from such conditions, helping patients to be seen sooner and closer to their homes. An estimated ten million people in England suffer from musculoskeletal problems.

The guidance sets out how the NHS can use a wider range of health professionals including physiotherapists, nurses and pharmacists in addition to GPs and hospital consultants.

By using more staff to treat patients - rather than just the traditional GP-consultant axis - patients will receive faster treatment and in a more convenient setting such as closer to their own home rather than have to travel to hospital.

Launching the new guidance, Andy Burnham said: ‘We know that patients with long term conditions such as arthritis and back pain want to be treated closer to their own homes rather than have to go in and out of hospital.

‘The new guidance I'm launching today will mean that this will be possible for more patients, all supported by high quality hospital based services where they are needed.

‘It will also mean faster treatment for patients. Implementing the framework will enable patients to be seen sooner by a health professional without the need to wait for a consultation with a surgeon. However, patients that still need to see a surgeon will do so.

‘The MSF is a real partnership success, as it has been developed by specialists working with stakeholders and so has the endorsement of the profession.

‘The framework is also crucial to delivering the 18-week pathway for the maximum wait from GP referral to hospital treatment, as orthopaedic waiting times present one of the greatest challenges to meeting the target.’

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