Connect Health, a national provider of NHS community services including MSK (musculoskeletal), chronic pain, rheumatology and mental health, has been selected to deliver the Oxfordshire Community MSK service, in partnership with Principal Medical Limited, an Oxfordshire-based GP-led not for profit, primary and community care provider and GP Federation. The new service commences in October 2022.
The former Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) carried out a comprehensive procurement process for the service, which was informed by patient experience, feedback and input from the Pain Management, Orthopaedics and Rheumatology services at Oxford University Hospitals (OUH), Oxfordshire GPs and others.
The Oxfordshire Community MSK service, receives between 5,000 – 6,000 referrals per month and the quality of service provision is paramount, not only to the patients it serves, but also to the whole MSK care system locally.
Sharon Barrington, Head of Planned Care and Long Term Conditions at Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West, Integrated Care Board (BOB ICB) said: "Connect Health is partnering with the NHS to deliver care effectively and efficiently in community settings, supporting waiting times and improving outcomes for patients. We will be contacting all patients who are in the system at the time of the changeover with more information, but we do not expect people to be inconvenienced in terms of locations or dates of appointments.”
Connect Health presented strong credentials and experience in sustaining the workforce, demonstrating inclusive and innovative approaches in terms of building teams through alliances with training institutions and in the provision of professional development opportunities. Connect Health’s core values are focused on the whole person, including on lifestyle and prevention.
National research and current guidance were built into procurement and contract requirements, and will be utilised in monitoring patient outcomes, practice and quality measures and service audit processes. The service aims to establish formal collaboration and networking structures alongside multidisciplinary approaches to care.
The team from the former Oxfordshire CCG is working closely with Connect Health and partners to enable a safe transition between providers, ensuring the minimal disruption to patients.
While the full Oxfordshire Community Musculoskeletal (MSK) service will be operational from 1 October, Connect Health will be receiving some urgent MSK referrals from 12 September.