A dedicated physiotherapy service supporting NHS staff with musculoskeletal (MSK) problems says it has been seeing success since it launched in February.
The comments comes as a £5 million health and wellbeing initiative will be announced by NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens, for NHS Staff today, at the NHS Innovation Expo in Manchester.
Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust has pointed out that it is pro-actively working with staff to provide early intervention for MSK conditions, preventing injury to keep staff at work and helps plan for individuals to safely return to work if they have been absent.
The Physio For You programme has been running since February this year and is an occupational health musculoskeletal (MSK) physiotherapy service run by the trust.
Navroz Amlani, clinical Physiotherapy Specialist and Occupational Health Physiotherapist at LCHS, said: “We are leading the way here in Lincolnshire with this innovative service. It not only supports the health and wellbeing of individual staff members, but in turn their wider team and the patients we care for.
“Every member of staff has a valuable role to play in the success of our organisation, by providing a wealth of skills and knowledge that cannot be easily replaced or reproduced if they become sick or injured. Delivering safe effective patient care is a primary principle of LCHS - this service enables us to utilise our most valuable resource efficiently knowing the correct staff, with the most appropriate, developed skills are in work, healthy and able to provide the high quality and safe healthcare to the patients we serve.
“This service forms part of a comprehensive program and is assisting in driving down the sickness rate, improving skill retention and increasing morale, directly resulting in the raising of care standards delivered.”
In the year 2012/14 the total cost of all directly reported MSK type sickness absence for LCHS was £466,359. Of this, £229,020 was for back related problems and £237, 339 for other MSK problems.
Clinics have been held at the trust headquarter’s at Bridge House in Sleaford, John Coupland Hospital, Louth County Hospital, Skegness hospital, Johnson Community Hospital, Newland and North Hykeham Health Clinics, and Greetwell House and Fen Lane community bases in Lincoln.
The service has been recognised nationally for its success and was among the finalists in the MSK Care category of the Patient Safety Awards 2015.
MSK conditions can include any injury, disease or problem relating to muscles, bones or joints which can be a common problem due to the nature of the work carried out by health professionals and supporting staff not only on the frontline. In May 2014 the absences related to MSK lost days were reported at 20.7 per cent of the overall absence total.
A spokesman for the service said that in March 2015, 21 per cent of sickness was due to MSK related problems, costing £45,987.96. They said this fell to 19.9 per cent in June seeing the cost of MSK sickness drop down to £39,009.32.