CCGs from across the North Of England and Cumbria are leading a regional initiative with a team of clinical commissioners, providers and health professionals from the north east of England. This initiative has been selected by the Health Foundation, an independent health care charity, to be part of its new national £3.5 million improvement programme, Scaling Up Improvement.
The Scaling Up Improvement programme is sponsoring seven health care projects in the UK with the aim to improve health care delivery and/or the way people manage their own care through the delivery of successful health care improvement interventions at scale.
The regional team aims to improve the management of patients who have lower back pain or radicular pain over the next 2 1/2 years. It will begin with a year-long early implementer area in the summer for patients in the NHS South Tees CCG and NHS Hambleton, Richmond and Whitby CCG areas, with NHS Darlington CCG and other North East CCGs planning to follow closely behind. The project will involve implementing an evidence-based, comprehensive care pathway that integrates care from the GP surgery through to the specialists in hospital.
Over the course of the programme, CCGs across the north east will take health care ideas, interventions and approaches that have been tested and shown to improve care at a small scale and deliver them at a larger scale.
Back pain is a common problem that affects most people at some point in their life. The North East has a high incidence of people suffering from low back pain and in particular severe back pain. Thankfully, for the majority of people these acute episodes are relatively short-lived. We will give people the information and ability to manage their own symptoms and put in place lifestyle changes to prevent frequency of recurrence. We will identify those people who may go on to have more disabling problems, and with the correct interventions at the right time can significantly prevent their problems from becoming chronic and the consequent effect it has upon their overall well-being.
Dr Andrea Jones, Chair of Darlington CCG and lead Clinical Sponsor for the Regional Back Pain Programme