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Supporting commissioners

Supporting commissioners

Balancing capacity and demand for MSK services in Lincolnshire

We provide the Lincolnshire Teaching Primary Care Trust with musculoskeletal treatment and diagnostic services through our East and West Lincolnshire Musculoskeletal Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service Service (E&W Lincs MSK CATS). The service, which only treats NHS patients, operates out of ten locations in hospital and health centres across the county. As well as offering one-stop assessment and lifestyle advice for a wide range of orthopaedic and soft tissue conditions, E&W Lincs MSK CATS also offers a flexible and modern diagnostic service. MRI scans are carried out by radiographers with a special interest in musculoskeletal conditions and are analysed by a team of experienced consultants.

When we mobilised the service it soon became apparent that whilst some clinics quickly reached and exceeded capacity, others were regularly underutilised. Our teams, which are made up of dedicated healthcare professionals, did not want unfilled appointments when they knew they could use that capacity at other sessions in different parts of the county where clinics were full. Working with the Trust’s AQP Project Manager they developed a plan to re-order the spread of clinic time and resources, cutting the frequency of some underused clinics but increasing the time resources to others which were in greater demand.

The plan, supported by comprehensive evidence detailing capacity and demand, was put in front of the contract management team and accepted. Commissioners reported back that they were very pleased with the flexibility shown by the service, which had gone out of its way to meet the needs of Lincolnshire people.

Supporting urgent care in Worcestershire

Whilst we are most often approached by commissioners as a strategic partner we can also provide tactical support. For example, when the provider of the NHS 111 service in Worcestershire withdrew from the market, we were able to deliver the service until a new supplier could be found, drawing on our market-leading experience in both the 111 service itself and in wider out of hours healthcare.

Our 19 NHS out of hours services give advice and healthcare to more than 15,000 patients every week with more than 450,000 patients each year receiving a face-to-face consultation outside normal GP practice opening hours, either in their own home or at one of our centres. Patient confidence in our out of hours care is strong - fewer than one in 2,000 (0.04 percent) raise any concerns about any aspect of their experience.

Having the broadest range of health and social care services in the UK enables us to operate a more diverse and flexible range of partnerships with commissioners and with local communities than any other provider.

Increasingly, we’re able to change, adapt and improve services as we respond to commissioner, patient and service user needs.

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