Learn who is involved in your journey
At Circle Integrated Care, a dedicated team of individuals is there to support patients along every step of their journey so that this is achieved. The Circle Integrated Care team can be divided into five main teams:
- 18 Weeks Team
- Patient Choice Team
- Shared Decision Makers
Circle MSK clinicians come from a variety of different backgrounds and have a great wealth of knowledge and experience to help you with your treatment. When your GP sends the initial referral, it is then assessed and triaged by our experienced clinical team, and you will be assigned to the most relevant professional for your initial assessment appointment. This is likely to be to:
• A Physiotherapist
• An Advanced Physiotherapy Practitioner (APP)
• A General Practitioner with a Special Interest (GPwSI) in musculoskeletal health
• A hospital Consultant (orthopaedics, neurosurgery/spinal orthopaedics, rheumatology, chronic pain)
• A Podiatrist, Occupational Therapist or Hand Therapist
Advanced Physiotherapy Practitioner (APPs) are experienced physiotherapists who have undertaken further postgraduate training to work beyond the scope of standard physiotherapy practice. For example, they can request investigations such as ultrasounds or MRIs, interpret the results of investigations to plan management with you, and many are trained in the administration of steroid injections; some can also prescribe medications. At your initial assessment with an APP, you may not receive any specific physiotherapy input (although they may give you exercise advice or leaflets), but they may subsequently refer you on for formal physiotherapy.
General practitioners with a special interest (GPwSI) in musculoskeletal medicine have undertaken further training and assessment to develop the expertise to deliver a high quality clinical service to patients with musculoskeletal problems, beyond the scope of their core professional role, and to carry out advanced treatments such as ultrasound-guided injections, not normally offered by other GPs.
Your GP may already have arranged x-rays or other imaging, but if further tests are needed to better assess your situation, this will be arranged with you.
The administrative team are enthusiastic in ensuring a patient pathway runs as smoothly as possible and are here to answer any questions patients may have about their care. The team completes a range of tasks to guarantee your care is timely and appropriate.
Responsibilities in your pathway through the service include:
- Answering your queries through telephone or email,
- Booking, rearranging, cancelling or discharging you from the service when appropriate
- Processing diagnostic results
- Liaising with GPs, community services and secondary care providers around your care
- Arranging translation services and patient transport
- Managing all correspondence in and out of the service
- Supporting the efficiency of clinics through processing urgent requests, typing clinic notes and arranging appointments to visit in house MSK clinicians
18 weeks team
It is recommended that all patients should be receiving their referral to treatment (RTT) for their care within 18 weeks of their initial GP referral. At Circle Integrated Care there is a team dedicated to ensuring a patient's pathway is monitored and that patients have received their referral to treatment within the recommended 18 week timeline.
The 18 Weeks Team are highly involved with secondary care providers, community providers and the MSK Patient Choice Team. It is through the connection of all these services that Circle Integrated Care can guarantee excellent coordinated patient care.
Patient choice is offered at all stages in a patient's treatment pathway. Patients being referred to Secondary Care will receive a call form one of our Patient Choice Advisors, to enable patients to understand their options. Patient Choice Advisors provide links to all the hospitals' operational teams and have non-clinical conversations. There is no question too small for a Patient Choice Advisor as Circle MSK acknowledges the importance of each patient making the right decision for them. For instance, Patient Choice Advisors have information on:
- Wait times for each hospital
If you have any questions, please call the Circle MSK service where a member of the Patient Choice team will be happy to discuss individual options with you.
Shared Decision Makers
The Shared Decision Makers are a team of clinicians who work to ensure a patient's treatment option is right for them. Their ethos is that 'no decision will be made about me, without me' and want to involve patients in their pathway. It is therefore important to know what factors matter most to the patient so that the team can collaborate with them to plan the best course of action. These shared decision-making consultations are carried out by telephone.
A patient's experience of symptoms, social circumstances, attitude to risk, values and personal preferences are just as important in reaching a plan as the clinical information that a healthcare professional can provide.
There is good evidence that involving a patient fully in decisions about their healthcare often leads to better results for them, and patients will hopefully feel more invested in their treatment.
The Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA) have suggested that patients ask these three questions:
1. What are my options?
2. What are the pros and cons of each option for me?
3. How do I get support to help me make a decision that is right for me?
In addition, if the decision is made to refer a patient on to a hospital service such as orthopaedics, the Shared Decision Maker will discuss which hospital options are open to them.