Case studies

Physiotherapy case studies promote physiotherapy as an innovative and cost effective approach to improving patient pathways and promoting public health.

We welcome examples from all aspects of physiotherapy practice, research, education, and service delivery. Initiatives need to have been operational for more than 12 months to be included.

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The Musculoskeletal Clinical Assessment Service (MCAS)

The Musculoskeletal Clinical Assessment Service (MCAS) in West Glamorgan, provides a first contact service for patients with musculoskeletal (MSK) problems. It offers more effective management of MSK patients, with the view to streamlining patients referred into secondary care from primary care, and to reducing consultant waiting times for surgery.

The service has increased the orthopaedic conversion rate from 15% to over 80% and has decreased the wait for appointment for urgent cases from 6 weeks to 2 weeks. T

A physiotherapy-led Virtual Clinic for the Orthopaedic Fracture Clinic.

At Brighton and Sussex University Hospital, a Virtual Fracture Clinic (VFC) has been set up. The service provides follow-up assessment, videos and acute rehabilitation advice for self-management without the patient needing to return to the hospital. This work directly links into the NHS agenda for treating patients with the right care, in the right place, at the right time and reduces unnecessary visits to hospital for outpatient follow-ups.

The service has given patients direct access to physiotherapists and enabled a 100% consultant review rate. The service has also delivered cost savings.

Clinical Musculoskeletal Assessment and Treatment Service (CMATS)

This new and exciting initiative, based in North West Wales, explores the effectiveness of Advanced Physiotherapy Practitioners (APP) in clinically assessing patients with musculoskeletal problems as an alternative to the General Practitioner in primary care. 

The pilot saw 84% of their patients successfully managed within primary care by the APP and demonstrated potential cost savings.

The Cardi-Back service

The service uses a dual exercise approach to combat the pernicious, and under-investigated, connection between lower back pain and heart disease.

The 8-week progressive programme, which combines advice, Swiss-ball and cardio-vascular exercise sessions for home activities and lifestyle changes, demonstrated a 68% increase in physical activity at the 6-month review, a reduction in low back pain scores and a return on investment.

The Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board Walk in Clinic

The Walk in Clinic (WIC) is a self-referral clinic for patients in South Wales. It provides an alternative to a GP appointment for adults with a musculo-skeletal problem for assessment, advice and suitability for physiotherapy.

The service provides a cost-effective rapid access to physiotherapy expertise, producing high satisfaction responses from patients and GPs. For those only requiring a single advisory session, the service has reduced the wait to consult with an MSK physiotherapist from 10 days (urgent) and 10 weeks (routine) to same-day attendance.

Musculoskeletal Practitioner – a new role in Primary Care

A service improvement in Cumbria where the service provides direct access to a specialist MSK physiotherapist for assessment, investigations as appropriate, injection if indicated and triage into secondary care/ allied health professions where needed.

The pilot saved nearly 600 GP appointments and cost savings from reduction in investigations, such as MRI. 

7 Day Working Project at Hillingdon Hospital

In Hillingdon, a trial of 7-day working was performed in the Respiratory Outreach Service between November 2015 and March 2016. The original service provided 5.5 days per week cover. Staffing was increased from 2 to 4 whole time equivalents (including an Asthma Nurse post) with 4 hours per week for data collection. 

The trial increased number of patients seen, improved discharge rates and reduced length of stay.