Feist-Wilson, S and Heron, N (2018) An evaluation of the clinical skills and experience within an orthopaedic Integrated Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service. BJGP Open, 1 (4). bjgpopen17X101217 - bjgpopen17X101217. ISSN 2398-3795

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Background General practice in the UK is ‘in crisis’. With 20% of GP workload relating to musculoskeletal (MSK) problems, an orthopaedic Integrated Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service (ICATS) could help support assessment of these patients in primary care, alleviating pressure on GPs. However, practitioners in ICATS must be trained appropriately to ensure its effectiveness.

Aim This evaluation aimed to identify the training levels of doctors in one Northern Ireland orthopaedic ICATS system, what their future training needs are, and suggestions for how this service could be improved to better support general practice.

Design & setting A questionnaire study in an orthopaedic ICATS, Northern Ireland.

Method All seven doctors working within the Southern Trust orthopaedic ICATS were asked to complete a questionnaire detailing their training and experience in MSK medicine. Their views on how the service could be improved were elicited.

Results Six of seven questionnaires were returned. All responders were Members of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP), while five of six held a Diploma in Sports and Exercise Medicine (Dip SEM). Half of responders suggested that MSK ultrasound could be beneficial within ICATS. However, it was viewed that extensive training would be required before paediatric MSK patients could be included.

Conclusion High levels of training and experience were reported by responders, suggesting ICATS provides a high-level MSK service. Furthermore, it was noted that inclusion of MSK ultrasound and paediatric patients into this service could be beneficial but not without undertaking further training. With appropriate funding and support the ICATS service has the potential to expand the clinical services it offers to general practice, helping to reduce work pressures in primary care at this time of crisis for UK general practice.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright © 2017, BJGP Open
Uncontrolled Keywords: general practice, integrated clinical assessment, service, musculoskeletal, orthopaedics, primary care, integrated care
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Primary Care Health Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2019 14:37
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2019 14:16
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/5866

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