NHS clinical commissioning groups in Brighton, Crawley and Horsham and Mid Sussex worked together with local people to design and procure the innovative new service, which is to be launched in October.
A contract to provide a brand new joined-up, integrated service for people with joint and muscle conditions across central Sussex has been awarded to a partnership of local health professionals.
The new musculoskeletal (MSK) service aims to transform care for patients suffering with joint, bone and muscle pain across Brighton and Hove, Crawley, Horsham and Mid Sussex by tailoring care to the needs of the individual patient ensuring their treatment is joined up.
Following an open, transparent and thorough process, Sussex Musculoskeletal (MSK) Partnership was chosen. The Sussex MSK Partnership brings together local healthcare experts from primary, physical and mental health care. It involves Brighton and Hove Integrated Care Service, Horder Healthcare, Sussex Community NHS Trust and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
The partnership also draws support from local and national experts in MSK with the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) providing expertise and materials for the service, and local hospital trusts, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust (BSUH) and Sussex and Surrey Hospitals NHS Trust (SASH) providing care as part of the contracting arrangements. Scans and x-rays will be provided by the Medical Imaging Partnership (MIP) and the partnership is supported by local groups including the Carers Centre, Brighton and Hove, and the The Fed Centre for Independent Living, amongst others (see notes).
Sussex MSK Partnership will be working to a new approach for MSK care created by local GPs, other healthcare professionals and patients of the current service. In the new design the CCGs developed a clearly defined care pathway (route through the service) that will mean shorter waiting times for appointments and test results whilst still receiving the highest quality care. The new service will put patients at the centre of their care, sharing decisions about what treatment they receive and where and ensure they see the right clinician first time.
This redesign brings the many services involved in musculoskeletal care together (including physiotherapy, podiatry, rheumatology, orthopaedics, and pain management). The model, which is described as main hubs with smaller spokes will mean more services are available closer to where patients live. It will also mean patient care will be joined up across hospital and community services.
A spokesperson for the three CCGs said: “This is an exciting and innovative redesign of services and should lead to real improvements in quality and experience for patients needing care for bone, joint and muscle problems. Developing fully joined up services which have the patient at the heart is key to making sure they have the very best experience when they need the NHS.”
Peter Devlin, Joint Clinical Director, Sussex MSK Partnership said: “Sussex MSK Partnership will transform the way that people experience NHS services, by really joining together the way people move through treatment, from simple advice to complex surgery. We will provide people with the information they need to make choices and take control of their care at every step. For the first time, mental health and wellbeing will be truly integrated with physical health services, and our partnership with third sector organisations makes sure that the patient's voice is at the heart of everything that we do.”
Ailsa Bosworth, Chief Executive of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, said: “We are delighted to be part of Sussex MSK Partnership’s successful bid to provide MSK services in central Sussex. We look forward to working collaboratively to deliver high quality services for people living with early inflammatory arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. This is an excellent opportunity for patient organisations to help shape patient care locally.”