Herts Valleys CCG and Connect Health Finalists in Industry-leading Awards

Living Magazines HSJ Awards

A successful collaboration between Connect Health and Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group in delivering innovation in musculoskeletal and pain services has led to the two being named finalists in the highly prestigious HSJ Partnership Awards 2021.

The organisations have been shortlisted in the ‘Best Healthcare Provider Partnership with the NHS’ category after showing that new services had delivered reduced waiting times, cost savings and improved patient outcomes and experience across west Hertfordshire.

Nearly a quarter of people in west Hertfordshire suffer with MSK and pain complaints, including back pain, hip osteoarthritis and knee osteoarthritis.

Leading community services healthcare provider, Connect Health, began working with the CCG in early 2018 to support its Your Care, Your Future programme. Moving away from the traditional hospital outpatient model, this patient-led approach introduced integrated specialist healthcare in community locations.

Patients can access services including physiotherapy, pain and community rheumatology at over 20 clinical sites. These provide a single point of access and multi-professional specialist care depending on need. This approach has resulted in a 41% reduction in waiting times, satisfied patients (with eight out of ten saying they would recommend the service to friends and family) and year-on-year savings for the CCG of £2.5m, despite a 13% increase in demand for services.

Paul Allan, Director of NHS Services, Connect Health comments: ‘Musculoskeletal conditions and pain affects a significant proportion of the Herts Valleys population and there was a major need to ensure equity of access for patients requiring care in the area. If changes were not made to the pathway, there would have been a continued rise in cost and potential decrease in quality over time. The mix of multiple service providers would have led to further fragmentation and inconsistent service delivery. Together, we have overcome some significant challenges to be able to implement a single standardised, transparent, coordinated, patient pathway for MSK and pain services, eliminating inefficiencies and inconsistencies.

‘Working in collaboration with GPs, West Herts Hospital Trust and the CCG has resulted in building an end to end pathway, benefiting patients and colleagues alike. I’m extremely proud that our achievements have been recognised by the HSJ.’

Asif Faizy, clinical lead, Herts Valleys CCG added: ‘We are delighted to have been recognised by the HSJ which is a testament to the hard work of both teams. The MSK service has really improved over the last year, cutting waiting times and improving patient satisfaction. In addition, Connect Health has to be commended for their support to NHS frontline services in Herts Valleys during the Covid-19 pandemic, whether providing colleagues in rehab teams on a ward to enable people to be discharged home quicker or in physio roles in various locations.’

The awards’ judging panel comprised a diverse range of highly regarded figures across the NHS and wider healthcare sector. To be shortlisted as a finalist, despite tough competition from a pool of brilliant applications, is a mark of real achievement for Connect Health and Herts Valleys CCG.

HSJ editor Alastair McLellan concludes: ‘We would like to congratulate Connect Health and Herts Valleys CCG. We are looking forward to welcoming them to the ceremony in June, to join us in recognising the very best collaborations and innovations in the healthcare sector. This year’s finalists are of an outstanding calibre and all of them are exceptionally dedicated to enhancing healthcare across the UK.’

The winners will be selected following a rigorous, judging stage ahead of the summer ceremony. The awards evening is expected to be attended by leaders and professionals from both the NHS and private sector as well as figures from non-clinical backgrounds to celebrate innovation and collaboration in healthcare.

The full list of finalists for the 2021 HSJ Partnership awards can be found at Finalists 2021 | HSJ Partnership Awards.

For more details about the Herts Valleys Integrated MSK Service, visit www.connecthealth.co.uk/case-studies/herts-valleys.