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Community Appointment Days – An idea which rapidly turned into an experiment.

In April and May of this year, across two days, 550 people from our physiotherapy routine waiting list came and joined us in their local community at our Community Appointment Days.

Community Appointment Days (CADs) provide a comprehensive range of MSK services under one roof. Conveniently located in local leisure centres, CADs offer a range of resources tailored to the specific needs of the local population, providing same-day access to services including assessments, advice, health promotion, rehabilitation and community and voluntary sector support, all in a non-medicalised environment. 

Taking the opportunity to step out of business as usual to look at how we might shape the future MSK service, we knew that the premise for doing so was multifactorial. We recognised that the current system tended to lean into treating people with a single condition, putting people on a pathway that focussed on a biomedical model, and where it was perceived people are best managed in a hospital setting. We also acknowledged that clinicians were being faced with increasing complexity and intensity of clinical practice, and consequently, staff were feeling burnt out with low morale. 

Inspired by New Local’s ‘Community Powered NHS‘ and Victor Montori’s ‘Why We Revolt, the CAD innovation leans into the strength of the community to find the solution to support individuals, shifting away from a paternalistic mindset to a therapeutic alliance which recognises the expertise individuals bring is equal to the expertise that clinicians bring.

The aim of the CADs was to create the right conditions to allow clinicians to support people with their MSK condition and beyond, lean into the local community services, really embed personalised care, focus on prevention and health promotion, and try to reach people who really need us.

Find out more about the CADs from Clinical Director Laura Finucane and Managing Director Natalie Blunt, who recently spoke to Adam Lent, Chief Executive of New Local, about the how, the why, and what comes next. Listen to the interview here.

Sussex MSK Partnership Central is a joint venture delivered by Here and Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust.

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