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Musculoskeletal services need better planning says charity


27 November 2014

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Arthritis Research UK is calling for greater use of care planning to empower people with musculoskeletal conditions.

The charity’s report Care planning and musculoskeletal health, highlights that more people with musculoskeletal conditions, such as arthritis, could benefit and calls for systems designed to deliver care planning to include these conditions.

Arthritis Research UK is calling for greater use of care planning to empower people with musculoskeletal conditions.

The charity’s report Care planning and musculoskeletal health, highlights that more people with musculoskeletal conditions, such as arthritis, could benefit and calls for systems designed to deliver care planning to include these conditions.

Professor Nigel Mathers, Honorary Secretary at the Royal College of General Practitioners said: “Musculoskeletal conditions need ongoing treatment such as exercise and medication to alleviate the symptoms and most patients want to be able, and have the support, to manage their health on a day-to-day basis.

“Care planning increases patient involvement at an earlier stage by creating a partnership with the GP that gives them a real sense of control over their own health and wellbeing.”

Despite a fifth of the UK population consulting about musculoskeletal problems such as arthritis, the report also finds that only 12% of people have a care plan to support them in their daily lives.

However, the NHS has committed to offering everybody living with a long-term condition a personalised care plan by 2015.

Dr Tom Margham, Primary Care Lead at Arthritis Research UK said: “The reality for increasing numbers of people is that they will be living for many years with more than one long-term condition. Care planning works best when it is considered not as just a list of actions, but an ethos of care – working collaboratively with patients, sharing information and identifying priorities and goals to get the best outcomes.”

Dr Liam O’Toole, Chief Executive at Arthritis Research UK added: “We want to ensure that GPs are promoting the benefits of good musculoskeletal health during care planning, providing a platform to empower and support patients in making lifestyle changes that will improve their health.”

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