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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?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common cause of pain and disability in older adults. During the COVID-19 pandemic many healthcare practitioners and people with OA have not been able to deliver/access treatments known to be effective for the condition (education, exercise and weight loss support). To address this challenge, the Keele Impact Accelerator Unit worked with the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) to create a repository of online, evidence-based osteoarthritis management programmes. The novel repository aimed to provide solutions for healthcare professionals seeking to signpost patients with OA to remote, high-quality programmes and resources for online training in delivering best care.

For rapid access, the repository was initially housed on the Keele University Impact Accelerator Unit website ( and launched with an infographic and weblink on Twitter through existing osteoarthritis networks. It received positive feedback from OARSI members and stakeholders “Brilliant resources…thanks for sharing”-Physiotherapy Senior lecturer.

What does your project aim to achieve?


To improve the care of those with OA by improving access to the online repository for all stakeholders (including patients, clinicians, researchers, commissioners, charities and policy makers).


-Convene an OA community of practice (CoP) including diverse stakeholders and people with OA who experience health inequalities to help plan how best to share this online repository.

-Explore with the CoP the barriers to maximizing uptake of the resources and co-create solutions to these (in addition to our existing musculoskeletal implementation top tips toolkit).

-Co-produce short videos to concisely introduce and promote the resources.

-Co-produce and beta-test a central website (linked to the main OARSI website), including user-friendly elements to allow the resources to be easily located and utilized by all stakeholders.

-Co-produce a communication, learning and engagement strategy plan to maximize uptake.

By increasing access to OA care during COVID we aim to reduce health inequalities for older adults.

How will the project be delivered?

Our project will be delivered by an experienced team of clinical and patient champions, clinical academics, project managers and industry partners. We have a track record of delivering and evaluating innovations using a Community of Practice (CoP) model. For example, our previous work, supported by the Health Foundation’s Q lab, has seen us co-produce and scale up innovations for those with mental health and persistent pain, that improve staff awareness and patient care.

The CoP model is an engaging method for encouraging participants from a range of perspectives to share their understanding and context and co-produce solutions. This will be supported by experienced project management to ensure that all project risks are acknowledged and mitigated, and the project is delivered on time and within budget.

The impact of the project will be measured throughout and at the completion of the project using an evaluation, feedback and reflection.

How is your project going to share learning?

We have reflected that sharing learning experiences throughout the life of a project is preferable to waiting until the end. Hence, as well as sharing what success looks like at the very end of a project, our team believes that key ongoing learning should be shared. To this end, we will have a clearly defined communication, learning and engagement strategy, designed and agreed by the CoP. It will explore what communities can benefit from our experiences, how best to communicate with them and what are the key massages to share. Consideration will be given to the issue of those in hard to reach communities and those with low levels of health literacy. Previously we have used a wide range of media including sharing information with Patient Self Help groups, Literature and leaflets designed by patients using patient stories, creative animations, free online learning and celebration days (World Arthritis Day).

How you can contribute

  • We would value members of the Q Community acting in a role as a critical friend to the project. Whilst we engage broad stakeholders in the CoP we may have blind spots as a team that we are not aware of. A critical friend, in this context, would be hugely valuable.
  • We would value the opportunity to work with others who have experience in the user experience of Web page design.
  • Our communication plan and knowledge mobilisation from the COP could be enhanced by linking in with colleagues from the Q community with existing msk networks.
  • Teaming up with Q community partners who have additional experience in behaviour change via online support would also help us in refining the website language.

Plan timeline

30 Jan 2021 Identify stakeholders for membership of the community of practice
28 Feb 2021 Connvene Osteoarthritis community of practice
31 Mar 2021 Explore barriers to maximise uptake of resourses
30 Apr 2021 Co-create solutions as a community of practice
31 May 2021 Review MSK implementation toolkit with stakeholders
31 Jul 2021 Co-produce videos to introduce and promote resoures on the website
30 Sep 2021 Co-produce website content and design
31 Oct 2021 User testing of the website
30 Nov 2021 Develop engagement strategy
30 Nov 2021 Launch website


  1. This has scope beyond one disease setting. Many patients with chronic wellness or patients awaiting surgery would benefit from an exercise plan which can be delivered virtually. Would be great to do a PDSA in one area and consider spread.

    1. Should say illness not wellness- sorry

  2. Hi Kay

    have you thought about linking up with Mike Hurley and Andrea Carter? a number of ESCAPE-pain sites have moved to virtual delivery of the ESCAPE-pain programme - lots and lots of learning from their experiences.

    drop me a line ( - very happy to put you in touch

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