Inspiration: Providing musculoskeletal education and training to community and general practice nurses in South London

Inspiration: Providing musculoskeletal education and training to community and general practice nurses in South London

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Health Innovation Network (Academic Health Science Network for South London)


Significant numbers of people live with chronic joint pain or osteoarthritis (approx. 1 in 5 people over the age of 50) and the vast majority are managed in primary care. NICE guidance on the management of osteoarthritis highlights the important role of primary care in providing simple and consistent messages to patients around exercise and self-management. It is known that every contact counts and therefore, following on from a highly successful GP MSK education project, we are offering to improve the confidence of our primary and community care nursing colleagues through a similar education programme.

Brief Summary

Scope: supported by a grant from Health Education South London, this community and general practice nurses across all 12 South London boroughs will be eligible to participate in this education initiative
Benefits: anticipated benefits – greater confidence in managing chronic joint pain, using freely available exercise leaflets, signposting/referral to evidence-based interventions such as ESCAPE-pain Programme to aid self-management. Evidence shows that supported self-management results in improved outcomes for patients and reduces healthcare utilisation costs(reduced diagnostics, reduced consultations with GPs, reduced pharmacy spend – painkillers)
Timeframe: the project has recently commenced (with the delivery of the first training course); the project is estimated to complete by March 2016
Financial information: this project is supported by a grant from Health Education South London
Challenges: the key challenge is determined how best to disseminate information to large numbers of staff working across a large geographical area from numerous clinics and surgeries. We envisage offering a range of options so that staff can access the level of information that is most appropriate to their needs and realistic given other pressures on their time. We appreciate that staff have limited study leave and hope to link in with existing education programmes/protected learning times.

Area of work

In relation to the four foundations of our declaration, this project aims to:

  • Care is about me
  • Make London healthier and happier

Service user involvement?

Not directly, this is an education and training project for community/general practice nurses, but we will be measuring the impact that the training has had on the confidence of nurses in managing and advising patients with chronic joint pain.

Advice for others

Please contact us for further information on the project and we would be happy to discuss it further.

Links for further information

Here are two resources that provide further information about this project:

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