In the UK, more than 1 in 5 GP appointments are for musculoskeletal (MSK) problems, the second most common reason for patients visiting their GP according to Royal College of GPs studies.
Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions encompass muscles, bones, joints, back pain and rarer autoimmune diseases. There are over 200 types of musculoskeletal conditions which have a detrimental effect on quality of life.
Having MSK practitioners, working within GP practices, means that patients can be seen more quickly in longer, more in-depth appointments. MSK practitioners are experienced physiotherapists (or other allied healthcare professionals) who are able to assess, diagnose and treat patients with joint and muscle pain.
From Monday 7th September, Charlene Dudley will be working for Thame Primary Care Network (a collaboration of practices including The Rycote Practice in Thame, Morland House in Wheatley and Chalgrove and Watlington surgeries. She will be based at Morland House Surgery on Thursdays.
Charlene qualified as a physiotherapist with a 1st Class degree from London South Bank University in 2010. She has worked as a MSK Practitioner for the past 7 years in both hospital and primary care settings and has a wealth of experience treating patients with acute and chronic conditions.
Charlene is able to assess, diagnose and treat anyone over the age of 16. She can offer advice on self-management, lifestyle, activity modification, pain relief and evidence-based exercise programmes.
Where necessary, Charlene can arrange further investigations including blood tests, x-rays, ultrasound and MRI scans. In addition she is able to instigate referrals for a course of physiotherapy or to other specialists for review if needed. Charlene is also trained to perform steroid injections where clinically indicated.
You can book a free NHS appointment with Charlene either by calling the practice on 01865 872448. Your GP may also refer you to the MSK Practitioner after triaging your condition over the telephone.
We hope patients appreciate this new service and we would welcome feedback from patients who see the MSK Practitioner to help us decide whether we extend this service in the future.