The South East London and Kent Regional Spinal Network (RSN) aims to provide evidenced-based pathways for management of musculoskeletal spinal conditions from first point of contact through to tertiary care. From 1st April 2018 all non-emergency referrals to secondary care (Pain and Spinal Surgery) must be referred by Spinal Specialist Triage Practitioners (SSTP). GP referrals will not be accepted. This aligns with the National Back Pain Pathway (NBPP) and NICE CG59 guidelines towards improving spinal care, equity of services and commissioning of spine care across the region. SSTPs, predominantly physiotherapists by background, are multidisciplinary (e.g. osteopaths, nurses) and work in primary or secondary care or in interface services run by NHS and Any Qualified Providers (AQP).
There have been calls for the development of a regional training programme and in the long-term, a nationally recognised qualification, to support SSTPs and promote excellent patient care. Current provision of training is fragmented and learning needs unknown. A learning needs analysis is required to allow for development of future training and development.
There are no validated learning needs questionnaires suitable for the specific purpose therefore a comprehensive tool was required.