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A day in the life of an extended scope practitioner

I’m Joshua Wheatley and I’m an extended scope practitioner (ESP) and musculoskeletal sonographer working at the Lincolnshire Musculoskeletal Clinical Assessment and Treatment service (LCATS). I have been working for Care UK for the last 18 months on a part time basis.

My day to day responsibilities at Care UK include the assessment and management of patients that would have normally been seen by the orthopaedic team in secondary care. Our service aims to reduce unnecessary referrals into secondary care orthopaedic services through the utilisation of our team’s clinical assessment skills and use of appropriate diagnostic imaging.

From here we will direct patients to the most appropriate service for their management; this may be self-management, physiotherapy, orthopaedics or alternative medical specialities. We also have the facility to provide peripheral soft tissue/joint injections, including guided injections.  We see all types of musculoskeletal and non-musculoskeletal presentations from tendinopathies in the foot to sciatica and everything in between.

I have extended skills in musculoskeletal sonography and ultrasound guided injections. This allows for an enhancement in diagnosis and also guided procedures. These skills are usually utilised for injections around sensitive structures such as nerves as well injecting deep joints such as the hip, which are not easily palpated for guidance. I regularly do ultrasound guided injection clinics where colleagues within the service will refer for an ultrasound guided procedure. Having this service in the community significantly reduces secondary care costs and lengthy delays in treatment.

The clinical team is a relatively small in comparison to other NHS services but we have a great mix of experienced ESP’s and orthopaedic consultants that allow us to deliver an excellent level of care to our patients.

Find vacancies for Lincolnshire Musculoskeletal Clinical Assessment and Treatment service (LCATS) here.

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