Info for Health Professionals

The aim of this Staff Information section is to provide additional information to Healthcare professionals about the roll out of the Regional Back Pain Programme and what you can do to help patient outcomes when dealing with Back Pain.

The focus of our project is to implement an evidenced based pathway of care to improve outcomes for both simple low back pain and acute radiculopathy (sciatica) for the North East of England population.

According to NICE guidance (CG 88, May 2009), low back pain is common and affects one third of the adult population each year, of which up to 20% will consult their GP.

Approximately 30 million days were lost from work in 2011 as a result of MSK problems. Low back pain is the largest single cause of disability in the UK.

It has been estimated that the lifetime prevalence of low back pain is reported to be as high as 84%, and the prevalence of chronic low back pain is about 23%, with 11—12% of the total disability in the population being caused by low back pain.

The objective is to implement a comprehensive care pathway from the general practitioner’s surgery through services in primary care and secondary care commissioned by CCGs to services under specialised commissioning. The care pathway will implement existing evidence based pathways and build a commissioning structure to allow the care pathway to be updated when fresh guidance is available. It will reduce delays, eliminate ineffective therapy and improve patient outcomes with reduction of disability. Significant savings in NHS budget are expected.
The pathway will be managed by a Triage and Treat practitioner, either an extended scope physiotherapist or nurse practitioner. These will be trained and appointed during implementation of the pathway.