AROUND 50 people attended a public consultation to discuss the future of musculoskeletal (MSK) services in Coastal West Sussex today.
Health chiefs from the Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) presented a new MSK pathway to the audience at the CCG’s offices in The Causeway, Goring.
A three-group discussion was then opened up, focussing on three questions: ‘what are your views on the model of care we are trying to commission, what are your views on who we commission this to and what other views do you have that we ought to consider?’
Addressing the audience, Katie Armstrong, clinical chief officer of the Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This is all about us listening to you and hearing what you want to say to us.
“Throughout this process to improve services for musculoskeletal patients we have heard loud and clear from you that, not only do you want to be involved in helping us to understand what a good model of care looks like, but that you also want to be involved in how we go about, as a commissioner, buying that care.
“We know we need to improve musculoskeletal services and that remains an absolute priority for the CCG. What we don’t know and what we have made no decisions about is the next steps into how we actually do that.”
The model put forward by the CCG is designed to bring the key joint and muscle pain services – physiotherapy, community musculoskeletal team, orthopaedics, rheumatology and chronic pain – together into one system.
Dr Su Stone, clinical programme lead for the CCG, said: “You’ll see your GP as you normally do. If your GP feels you need a service they will refer you into one team. Once you’re in that one team that’s it, no more referrals. Just one letter and once you’re in, everyone will wrap around you and make sure you get the care you need.
“If you need to have surgery you’ll have the option of going to all the different hospitals you go to now. You will have your surgery and continue to be cared for by that team, You won’t lose anything you’ve got now it will just be much more integrated.”
The model has been coined the hub and spoke model – three main hubs surrounded by community care centres.
Reaction to the model was generally positive with the audience acknowledging the benefits of an integrated system, however concerns were raised.
These included fears over the privatisation of the NHS and the impact it would have on existing service providers, and doubts surrounding the implementation of an integrated IT system.
Speaking after the event, Margaret Bamford, lead governor of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said she thought the meeting was very positive and that it was good to see the CCG ‘reaching out and listening’.