Our specialist musculoskeletal (MSK) physiotherapy teams showcased their life-changing work at our latest Medicine for Members’ event, ‘MSK matters – supporting patient health and wellbeing’. Watch a recording of the event here.

Welcoming attendees, Gisela Botelho, an elected patient governor and chair of the event, said: “Our MSK physiotherapy teams are instrumental in supporting patients experiencing physical and emotional challenges to have a good quality of life. They encourage patients to maintain a high level of health and wellbeing to help manage their pain and prevent disease.”

Outpatient therapy service lead, Amanda Michael, provided an overview of the MSK physiotherapy service at the Royal Free London and explained the team’s involvement with MSK patients starts at the very beginning of their treatment journey. She said: “We have a team of first contact practitioners, working in GP surgeries in Barnet and Enfield who support patients with various MSK conditions such as back, neck and joint pain.”

First contact practitioners also work alongside consultants in specialist hospital clinics, allowing them to refer patients for appropriate hospital treatment directly from their initial GP appointment. This can reduce waiting times and improve patient experience.

Amanda continued: “This role, alongside the GP practice team, puts an MSK specialist at the beginning of the patient pathway, ensuring patients see the right clinician at the right time.”

Meanwhile, Emma Brooks, MSK advanced practice physiotherapy team lead and first contact practitioner service lead, and Christopher Surr, MSK advanced practitioner physiotherapist and first contact practitioner, focused on two of the pathways available to patients when being treated by our MSK teams.

Emma provided more detail about how the first contact practitioner service began in 2015 and what patients can expect when they are seen. She also presented a case study, which demonstrated how the service is improving outcomes for patients.

Christopher talked about his work in our community MSK clinics, primarily focussing on a typical patient journey from the clinic, to having a knee replacement and finally the post operative care the team provides.

Final speaker of the evening, Robert Jones, MSK clinical lead, provided attendees with some general MSK health and wellbeing advice. Robert discussed the physical and mental health benefits of regular exercise as well as the role nutrition can play in reducing the risk of other health conditions such as chronic MSK disorders, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Hosted by our governors, Medicine for Members' events showcase topics which are important to staff, patients, and the local community. You can find out more about these on our website.