So, after months of discussion and £350,000, we are back where we started in respect of MSK services for this area.
I fear a big opportunity to revamp these services has been lost, as a continuing provider has less impetus to engage with change.
While it is imperative that MSK fits seamlessly into the A&E and surgical side of the hospitals, by far the larger amount of MSK services do not come under this category.
Most MSK services are for back ache, neck pain, sciatica, mild arthritis, muscle and ligament strains in the joints, for which A&E and surgery are not applicable.
These patients need timely treatment and advice at a local venue.
As an osteopath, I can see from my patients that this is precisely what they are not getting.
Waiting times are often several months, and recently a patient from Southwick was offered physiotherapy in Bognor Regis.
I, as part of a group of osteopaths and chiropractors, attended most of the meetings held by the West Sussex Coastal Commissioning group.
We felt we could offer some of this timely, local and cost effective treatment.
Osteopaths come ready trained with a four-year master’s degree, insurance, statutory regulation and local premises, and thus an appointment with us costs the NHS less than a hospital physiotherapy appointment.
The NHS is a wonderful institution, but the bigger the vessel, the longer it takes to turn it round into the efficient organisation it must become to continue to exist.
With the continuation of the status quo, I do not anticipate anything innovative in MSK services in the near future.
Shoreham and Southwick Osteopaths
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