From 1st November 2017, patients in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland who are experiencing lower back pain will now receive more effective care as a result of changes that are being introduced to how the condition is treated.
The changes are being put in place in response to new guidance that was published in November 2016 by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommending how lower back pain should be treated:
• Stronger emphasis on actions that patients can take themselves at the first onset of back pain
• Increased focus on physical activity, physiotherapy and rehabilitation in the community, which have shown to be very beneficial in tackling and preventing back pain and are recommended by NICE
• Treatments such as acupuncture, electrotherapies (TENS) and spinal injections (excluding epidurals) will not be offered to new patients from 1st November 2017, as there is limited evidence of their effectiveness
Patients who are currently waiting for a course of acupuncture, electrotherapies and spinal injections (excluding epidurals) will receive a letter explaining their options. They will be able to choose to receive physiotherapy instead, which is recommended by NICE, or continue to wait for their planned treatment.
Patients who are in the process of receiving a course of treatment will be able to continue to receive it this time, but it will not be available to them in the future. They will have their options explained to them when they next attend a clinic.
Engagement with patients
The clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland have launched an eight-week period of engagement to ensure patients are aware of the changes. They want to find out from patients who have experienced lower back pain how these changes will impact them and what they would find beneficial to treat it. The results will be used to inform the development and refinement of lower back pain treatment options in the future.
Patients can share their views using this survey - https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/LBPCPIG2017
Alternatively, a hard copy of the survey can be obtained by contacting Jo Ryder, Head of Engagement at Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group on 0116 295 1123. You can return this at the freepost address at the bottom of the survey.
The survey will close on the 3rd December 2017