The Bedfordshire MSK Service, part of Circle Integrated Care, is a single point of access for musculoskeletal conditions.
All patients over 18 years old with an MSK condition registered with a Bedfordshire GP should be sent to the Circle Hub for triage (preferably via E-Referral).
Referrals will be triaged by specialist MSK Extended Scope Physiotherapists to the most appropriate treatment pathway and patients will be offered a choice of provider, where available. Patients will be monitored and supported across their pathway.
Clinical triage will be performed within 24 hours. If referrals have insufficient information, Circle staff will contact the practice to request additional information.
How do I refer patients to the service?
The preferred method of referral is to E-refer. This is a more secure referral method and ensures we have quick and easy access to all patient information. However, other methods are referral are through:
The Enhanced Services Centre
3 Kimbolton Road
The following specialties are covered by the MSK service:
- Pain management
- Podiatry (MSK)
- Podiatric surgery
Patients will be triaged to either:
- Physioline. Patients will have the opportunity to speak with a physiotherapist who can assess their condition over the phone and can suggest exercises and other management techniques with reference to leaflets and online video demonstrations. If, after assessment, the problem is more complex, face-to-face physiotherapy will be arranged.
- Physiotherapy. Patients will be referred for face-to-face physiotherapy.
- Community MSK. Patients will be assigned to either an ESP or a GP with a Special Interest in MSK medicine, for a detailed assessment and work-up.
- Secondary Care. Our Patient Choice team will offer patients a choice of provider, and our Shared Decision Making team will contact patients with certain conditions such as hip and knee osteoarthritis to discuss treatment options.
When a patient has completed their course of treatment, the Bedford MSK Service will discharge the patient back their GP with a clear discharge plan.
Should a patient’s condition require further treatment, and/or onward referral to another allied service, this will be arranged through the Circle MSK hub, and should not require further input from the patient’s GP.
If a patient has DNA-ed a hospital attendance, Circle will accept a direct contact at the Integrated Provider Hub from the patient so they can establish if their condition has changed and if the same pathway is still appropriate or if a new or different service is available, and to book them an appointment. The patient will also be able to access the service via the self-referral route.
The Circle Bedford MSK team will advise the patient on their choice of provider.
If a patient has a particular preference for a hospital, the choice team will discuss this with them and arrange onward referral. Once it has been agreed with the patient they will be referred to secondary care a conversation with a choice adviser will be arranged.
No, you do not need to obtain permission from the IFR for Procedures of Low Clinical Value (PLCV). Circle Integrated Care holds the budget for all MSK conditions that are not within the exclusion criteria. We will manage the patient according to the clinical need and evidence based guidelines. These include the Bedfordshire Surgical Thresholds and the Evidence Based Interventions document published by NHSE in November 2018.
If you have any queries regarding a referral please email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.
Patients under the age of 18 years old at the time of referral. The MSK service is an adult service only
- Fracture; Please refer to the local fracture clinic
- suspected Cauda Equina; refer to local A&E is suspicion
- Undiagnosed lumps and bumps
- Suspected cancer; Please use 2ww pathway
- Neurological disorders
- ENT disorders e.g. vertigo, TMJ
- Gynaecological referrals e.g. women’s health, Incontinence
- Non-MSK podiatry e.g. corns, toenails, orthotics, callouses (MSK podiatry is included)
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Domiciliary physiotherapy
- Acupuncture only referrals
Fortunately, it is rare for a potential malignancy to be found. If a positive result is received it has been agreed with the Bedfordshire CCG that the referral should be immediately referred back to the GP for onward referral to the hospital of their choice under the 2WW pathway. The reason this was agreed was to ensure the best patient pathway. The MSK service will endeavour to contact the patient first to inform them of the abnormal result but will also contact the GP without delay by phone to ensure a smooth transfer of information and responsibility.
Will the service support GPs?
Yes. The service is designed to support GPs and create integrated working. Initiatives include:
- MSK Practitioners (First Contact Practitioners). Experienced physiotherapists will be offered to provide front-line clinics, free of charge, in GP surgeries. They will work side-by-side with GPs by assessing and treating, or triaging to further MSK services, at the first point of contact.
- Continuous Professional Learning. Circle will provide education and training opportunities on MSK conditions, based on specific conditions, diagnostic methods and examination techniques. Further information can be seen below.
- Clinical Steering Group. GPs, Consultants, Physiotherapists and other MSK professionals will have the opportunity to meet and discuss pathways and ways to improve the service.
Circle are running education events for GPs and clinicians who would like to learn more about a range of MSK conditions.
Circle’s next event is on Saturday 30th March 2019 at the Rufus Centre in Flitwick and will be a focus on Pain. An email invite will be circulated to all practices in the near future.
If you would like more information, please contact us at email@example.com
Clinical Steering Group
This is an evening for clinicians with an interest in MSK to meet and discuss pathways and ways to improve the service.
If you would like to attend, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also send issues or topics you would like to be addressed at these meetings.
Clinical Steering Group meetings are held every other month and are located at Flitwick Manor, Church Road, Flitwick, MK45 1AE – 0330 028 3406.
The dates for 2019 are as follows:
- Thursday 31/01/2019
- Thursday 21/03/2019
- Thursday 30/05/2019
- Thursday 25/07/2019
- Thursday 26/09/2019
- Thursday 28/11/2019