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Practice teams to improve back pain care

Interprofessional GP teams are to learn how to improve the care of people with back pain, in a new project launched by Bournemouth University (BU).

The initiative, involving nine GP practices across Dorset and Wiltshire, is part of a national project looking at how interprofessional teams, including patients, can learn and work together using a Continuous Quality Improvement approach to improving services.

"Back pain is complex and we know GP teams struggle to meet the needs of the patient in line with utilising the best evidence," says Dr Eloise Carr from BU's Health and Social Care Department. "We hope this work will give them the tools and strategies they need."

The project will place emphasis on recognising "yellow flags" or indicators of nonbiomedical factors in causing pain.

Dorchester GP Dr Charles Campion-Smith, said: "It is important for us in general practice to recognise significant psychosocial issues - an alternative approach is more likely to be successful here.

"We hope the practice teams will become skilled at recognising the differing needs of patients with back pain and in responding to these appropriately."

The workshops will run through the year and the participants will work together to redesign the services in their practices for people with back pain.

The project attracted funding last year of £456,000 from the Health Foundation.

Bournemouth University