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What is the positive change that has emerged through new collaborations or partnerships during Covid-19 that your project is going to embed?

An opportunity from the Covid-19 crisis and subsequent recovery, enabled a large scale improvement collaborative involving five physiotherapy services with around 29 clinical staff to occur across the Northern Care Alliance. Our approach, using a 60 day improvement framework, allowed us to accelerate the pace of discovering, learning, testing and implementing. From this collaboration we learnt that finding models of remote consultations and group therapy solutions were a key secondary driver to enable our MSK services to reshape and provide safe and patient centred care.  It has become apparent that there lacked standardisation and equitability across the patch for service users.

Groups were always considered both a clinically and cost effective aspect of our physiotherapy care.

Our 60 day collaborative has begun testing models and platforms for group consultations and rehabilitation.  Initial groundwork made from across the collaborative needs to be built on to ensure safe, effective and patient centred care is delivered.

What does your project aim to achieve?

Embed group consultations and rehabilitiation groups across the North Care Alliance Musculoskeletal (MSK) services to enable the reshaping of services so that X (to be determined) virtual contacts are delivered every month by July 2021 whilst maintaining Y (to be determined) patient satisfaction.

The key objectives for the project are:

1) Emerge from the COIVD -19 crisis with improved MSK services that are person-centred and safe.
2) Rapidly innovate new methods of group therapy using technology.
3) Enable improved self-management/patient activation.
4) Capture learning and sharing of ideas across a network, reducing duplication and improving standardisation.

As the groups will be interactive, there will be the opportunity to have some social interaction and ask ‘live’ questions from both their physiotherapist and other patients,mimicing traditional group models. This is an important aspect to their rehabilitation, particularly pertinent with the current isolation issues. Opportunities will also exist to be signposted to local community services for preventative health.

How will the project be delivered?

A band 6 staff member will be the lead for this project, along with a band 2 staff member.  These staff will be released from clinical responsibilities for the duration of the project, and have the opportunity to build on their quality improvement skills whilst delivering the project.  The approach will be a multidisciplinary collaborative, feeding into the work of the wider 60 day innovation teams.  The key stakeholders are the 60 day collaborative teams across the NCA patch, our service users across the wider system, the executive sponsor, administration staff and local IT staff members.  A model for improvement approach will be adopted to ensure measurement of this improvement initiative, with collaboration at it’s heart.

The lead and band 2 for this initiative will discover and fully understand the problems and opportunities for group therapy solutions, capture learning and synthesize best evidence based practice, test new models of group consultations and measure their impact.

How is your project going to share learning?

Safe, patient centred and equitable virtual group consultations and rehabilitation groups is a real opportunity in the current climate.  However the evidence base is lacking along with the platforms, skills, experience and confidence within clinicians to deliver virtual group consultations within the NHS setting.  This quality improvement initiative will provide invaluable learning for all Q members across the UK and Ireland, looking for solutions for cost effective treatment that is patient centred and safe within the COVID-19 pandemic.

This initiative will provide evidence on the use of the model for improvement in bringing about innovative improvement, along with much needed evidence in the effectiveness of virtual group consultations and rehabilitation groups.

The initiative will share the learning through the 60 day collaborative teams, through an active role in the Q community and look to publish it’s evidence.  The learning will be shared with all key stakeholders.

How you can contribute

  • Members with expertise in this area sharing their experience and insight.
  • Members to offer networking opportunities for connecting with other organisations as appropriate.
  • Members to share their QI skills with staff working on the project.
  • Members to provide critical friendship roles

Plan timeline

8 Jan 2021 Project team to gather best practice and develop SMART aim
8 Feb 2021 Collaborative team test ideas via PDSA cycles
16 Apr 2021 Evaluate tests and learning
17 May 2021 Develop bespoke pre recorded group sessions
30 Jul 2021 Report and full evaluation of project against aim and objectives


  1. Gabriel,

    This is a great idea and I do hope that you take it forward. If you need any process visualizations done then please let me know as I'd love to help. Good luck with your idea.


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