Patients have given South Tyneside Community Musculoskeletal Service (MSK) a clean bill of health in a survey by Healthwatch.

Our staff and volunteers attended MSK clinics at Cleadon Park Primary Care Centre on two days in January and February and also attended a clinic at Flagg Court Health Centre for an afternoon in January.

Patients were asked if they would be willing to complete a short written questionnaire to provide direct feedback on their own experience of the care they have received, and more than 30 patients agreed. A high proportion of MSK patients were retired.

The overall response to the patient survey was very positive, with the Musculoskeletal Service being seen as a very good service.

Clinicians were identified as very insightful, informative, caring, empathetic and easy to understand who listen to their patients.

Appointments were described as relaxed, informative and friendly.

Those patients spoken to seemed to appreciate a face-to-face appointment, and most were referred by their GP.

A few issues were raised by patients relating to mobility/access and the registration procedure on arrival.

In our report to the service commissioners Healthwatch has made a number of recommendations:

  • Ensure all frontline staff of referral services into MSK are aware that patients can self- refer and share details of how to do this.
  • Better signage on entry to Cleadon Park Primary Care Centre to direct patients to where to attend for the MSK Service. This will prevent patients getting lost, and to notify that they must register at the main reception before going upstairs.
  • Notify patients of free parking arrangements.
  • Consider making additional car parking arrangements for Blue Badge holders (Cleadon Park Health Centre).

The full report can be read here.

South Tyneside Community Musculoskeletal Service brings together specialist musculoskeletal clinicians to assess, diagnose and manage conditions at six venues across the borough: Cleadon Park Primary Care Centre; Flagg Court Primary Care Centre; Harton Sports Centre; Haven Point Leisure Centre; Hebburn Central and The Glen Primary Care Centre.

The team includes specialist clinicians covering all musculoskeletal areas, who can provide a comprehensive assessment and a range of treatments and management plans in a community setting. They treat MSK conditions involving bones, joints and soft tissues.