I was Tuped over to Connect in May 2016, having previously been a locum in the service. I had applied for a permanent job at the Trust in Jan 2016 knowing that Connect were taking over in May 2016. It’s fair to say there was a lot of bad feeling and hearsay that our community MSK NHS contract would be taken over by a private care provider.
The main changes we were advised would take place early on, were that the service would be reformed and appointment lengths would be reduced from 45mins to 30mins for new patients and from 30mins to 20mins for follow up appointments.
I was a little apprehensive about these changes as we see a diverse patient population who often present with complex presentations. My fear was that I would not be able to offer quality care to these patients with the proposed reduced appointment lengths.
At the time, I wasn’t aware of the positive changes that would be made alongside the reduction in appointment lengths.
Our team at the time consisted of about 8 physios and 6 locums. Currently we have a consultant physiotherapist, 16 physios/CATS, 2 rehab therapists, 2 consultants and 2 locums. After successful recruitment we have been able to reduce our reliance on locum staff and build a cohesive MSK team of permanent staff.
Three months into the new contract we had a management change which resulted in a new operations manager and a new clinical lead for our service. With this new management team in place there were many positive changes in a short space of time. The main service changes were the introduction of patient classes and the use of Hammersmith gym as a rehab facility for patients. Both of these pathways immediately improved capacity and reduced waiting times for patients.