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Bray centre and SVUH pilot knee arthritis programme

By Niamh Quinlan - 02nd Sep 2022

knee arthritis

An initiative involving St Vincent’s University Hospital (SVUH) and Bray primary care centre aims to address waiting times for clients with arthritis of the knee. 

The musculoskeletal outreach pilot project will assess patients on the SVUH waiting list for knee arthritis.

In July, physiotherapists at SVUH and Bray primary care centre began screening clients to ensure they were on the correct treatment pathway. 

After screening, clients will be invited to participate in a community-based, physio-led osteoarthritis knee programme in primary care; or if deemed necessary, they will access specialist opinion from a consultant orthopaedic surgeon via a fast-track knee pathway at SVUH.

If the client does not need to see a consultant and is not suitable for the programme, they will be offered one-to-one physiotherapy. 

Work on the programme began in May and it is set to commence in September. 

Senior Physiotherapist at Bray primary care centre, Ms Eavan Lennox, told the Medical Independent that the target client is someone whose GP has suggested a surgical opinion, but who may be left to wait 18 months to two years. 

“We are trying to get them in… get them done and treated here. And if they still require a surgical referral then, at least you know they have much more need to be on that waiting list.” 

According to the physiotherapy department at SVUH, it is hoped that the pilot project “will be very successful once embedded over time, [as it is] underpinned by close collaboration between acute and primary care practitioners in the interest of responsive service to our patients through optimising our available resources”. 

The project is based on the fast-track knee pathway at University Hospital Waterford. 

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