Primary Care and Community MSK Services: Post-COVID #physiotalk 15th June

The Physiotalk tweetchat on Monday 15th June is on ‘Primary Care and Community MSK services: how are you coping and how will your service have changed post-COVID19?’ and is guest hosted by @ChrisMartey As usual it will be from 8pm BST and we look forwards to people joining using the hashtag #physiotalk for the chat.

The Coronavirus pandemic 2019 (COVID-19) has drastically and rapidly changed how we use, receive and deliver health care. Musculoskeletal (MSK) practice in primary care and community outpatient services had largely been put on hold, allowing for the redirection of focus, and redeployment of many, to the acute wards and community services in the battle against COVID.

On the whole, only urgent and emergency MSK cases remain, though MSK services are beginning to re-start and re-open in some areas, including private practice. MSK practice quickly adopted virtual patient consultations through different mediums, offering mostly telephone and video appointments. As the pandemic continues, we must continue to look to the future in these fluid and changing times, to think about the impact of COVID-19 on primary care and outpatient services, and consider what the landscape will look like ‘post-COVID’.

Healthcare in primary care was beginning to change even before the unwelcomed arrival of COVID-19. The NHS Long Term Plan commits that every patient will have the right to be offered virtual care or ‘digital-first primary care’ by 2023-24. Virtual care is remote access to health-related services and information with the use of technology solutions.

‘Digital technology is transforming how patients and health professionals interact. Moving [primary care] towards a digital first approach, where patients can easily access the advice, support and treatment they need using digital and online tools.’ NHS England

MSK post covid

A simplified patient journey via NHS England

We welcome all therapists to join into this discussion and are particularly keen to hear the views and opinions of MSK outpatient therapists, orthopaedic interface assessment and triage practitioners and first contact practitioners.

Chat questions

  1. How are you managing with telephone and video consultations and do you, or your patients, have ‘video fatigue’ at all?
  2. What, if any, concerning clinical problems or issues have you encountered as these virtual roles have rolled on?
  3. Do you have any worries or fears for the longer term care and management of MSK patients currently impacted by COVID-19 waiting lists, cancellations, virtual consultations, etc?
  4. What guidance have you found most useful in supporting your virtual MSK practice?
  5. Are you for or against returning to face-to-face consultations post COVID, and what are the pros and cons around your opinion?
  6. Post-COVID, do you anticipate you will continue with many aspects of the current way of working and why?
  7. Those surviving and recovering from COVID-19 will have a combination of needs and require rehabilitation. What are your thoughts around this?

 

Chat transcript

Missed the chat? You can catch up with the transcript here 

References / pre-reading

NHS England Digital First Primary Care

NHS England Long Term Plan

NHS England Musculoskeletal

After-care needs of inpatients recovering from COVID 19

NHS Scotland Digital Health and Care strategy 

Digital Health in Wales

NI Department of Health Transformation strategy

COVID 19 video consultations and home working 

001750_COVID-19_Face-to-Face Consultations_Flow Chart_V6_0

Our guest host

Christopher Martey is an Advanced Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist with special interests in Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases, particularly Spondyloarthropathies. Christopher currently works in Primary Care as a Musculoskeletal First Contact Physiotherapist (FCP) in the South West of England and is a core team member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s South West Regional Network.

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