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What is the challenge your project is going to address and how does it connect to your chosen theme?

Globally, osteoarthritis (OA) has been rising as one of the leading causes of years lived with disability both due to its functional effects and high world-wide prevalence. In the UK alone, 8.75 million people have sought treatment for OA and with frequent consultation rates. Given this high global burden, even small improvements at an individual level in primary care have potential for significant population-level benefits.

OA is associated with negative consequences. Not least, OA is consistently found to have a negative impact on patients’ quality of life. The condition also produces a huge burden on primary care through repeat consultations and referral onto secondary care for a condition that can be well managed through supported self-management. Investigating the potential for wider front line staff to be skilled up in their roles to support patients to self-management this condition could have a major impact on the burden to both primary and secondary care resource.

What does your project aim to achieve?

This project aims to support people living with OA to self-manage their condition and improve the quality of care in line with NICE quality standards. The project will specifically look at the roles of First Contact Practitioners (FCPs) and Pharmacists to explore the potential to increase their knowledge and skills to support patients with OA, resulting in better outcomes for patients and impact on outpatient appointments.

This project will build on previous work within the JIGSAW project (Joint Implementation of Guidelines across the West Midlands) and JIGSAW-E (in collaboration with European centres) which has focused on GPs and Nurses within the primary care setting. JIGSAW-E is a real-world primary care an approach to improve the quality of care and support for self-management for OA. The four key innovations can be delivered to suit local healthcare context: a model consultation; training for professionals, OA guidebook and quality indicators of care.

How will the project be delivered?

The project will be managed through the development of a project core group and a steering group.

A community of practice will capture and share existing knowledge to help people improve practice, providing a forum to identify solutions to problems and evaluate best practices.

Project innovations:

Training package – bespoke FCPs and Pharmacist training packages (face to face & Digital) to support the delivery of a high quality consultation for patients self-managing their OA.

Patient information – bespoke patient information to be developed by patients to meet the needs of patients consulting in the Pharmacy and FCP settings.

Digital Innovations – development of consultation templates, Keele Pain Recorder App and the project website to meet the needs of these professional groups.

Launch event – launch of the project innovations to the FCP and pharmacist community across the West Midlands.

Evaluation – each element of the project will be monitored and evaluated at regular intervals

What and how is your project going to share learning throughout?

Through the project, resources and training will be produced and made freely available via the JIGSAW-E project website. There are dedicated professional and patient pages on the website, specific areas for pharmacy and FCPs will be developed as part of the project.

The project will set up a community of practice which will include professionals alongside patients and non-clinical support staff from pharmacy and physio settings, creating champions. Through the community of practice and the wider networks of the champions, the information and resources will be cascaded out across the West Midlands.

The project will link into learning events and local pharmacy committees to spread communication.

Social media and digital communication will be used effectively to support the project including the development of a project blog.

The communications team at the Q Community will be linked to the project to continually update the community on the progress of the project.

How you can contribute

  • Engage with Q Community members working in the professions of First Contact Practitioners and Pharmacy to gain valuable insight into their specialist field of work.
  • Use the knowledge of the Q Community members to understand the barriers and facilitators within the project.
  • Engage with the wider networks of FCPs and Pharmacists through the Q community members. Effective delivery of the project would be dependent on linking into champions across the region, supporting scale up and adoption.
  • Recognise the challenge in expanding the project to the national arena from a regional pilot - could the Q Community support the roll out, or how could we influence policy or other key stakeholders such as ARMA/Versus Arthritis etc.?

Plan timeline

6 May 2019 Project launch event/training event
6 May 2019 Resources onto Keele Pain recorder App
27 May 2019 Training packages and resources upload to website
4 Nov 2019 Extraction of template data for consultations
1 Dec 2019 Evaluation
6 Jan 2020 Set up of project core group and project steering groups
3 Feb 2020 Development of a community of practice for the West Midlands
9 Mar 2020 workshops with patients to discuss training content
9 Mar 2020 workshops with practitioners for training content
23 Mar 2020 Development of face to face training programmes
30 Mar 2020 Development of online training packages
30 Mar 2020 Development of training handbook
6 Apr 2020 Development of patient information
6 Apr 2020 Developments of consultation templates
23 Nov 2020 Data analysis

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