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A Call for Action for Prevention, Early Detection and Intervention

Learn more about a call for action for prevention, early detection and intervention.
A call for Action: Commissioners, Voluntary Sector, Local Government, Health care Professionals and providers

This training highlights the importance of keeping healthy to maintain good MSK health and wellbeing. Public health practice together with advancements in medical science continue to extend life years, however the ageing population is increasingly living in poor health. To improve the quality of the extra years, scaling evidence-based interventions is vital. Everyone can raise awareness of these interventions through our social contacts and work interactions that we have with people from across all age groups. Below are some specific headlines for health and social care professionals to implement:

Front-line health and care professional:

  • All health and care practitioners should consider how they can influence behaviour to improve MSK health.
  • Raise awareness about the positive actions – such as strength and balance type activity – that individuals can take to look after their bones, muscles and joints across and during their life.
  • Provide information to enable individuals who may be at risk, or have developed early signs of an MSK disorder, to access appropriate help and support in a timely manner
  • Encourage behaviour change, through the use of evidence-based interventions and using social prescribing.
  • Ensure that people with comorbidities can take part in a care and support planning process, using standardised tools to explore and record pain and functional limitations – and that they understand how these affect their daily activities.

Team leader or manager:

  • A team culture where staff know that they should talk to their patients about healthy lifestyles – ‘Making Every Contact Count’ initiatives should include musculoskeletal health.
  • The use of the MSK ROI Toolkit, alerting commissioners and providers to the benefits of scaling up the interventions like Escape Pain.
  • The use of tools and resources to support employers and employees such as the MSK Employers Toolkit and the Mental Health Employers Toolkit.

If you are a senior leader:

  • Recommend working with local authorities to ensure the availability of accessible community facilities (as per the physical activity pyramid) including natural environments, cycle lanes etc across all Index of Multiple Deprivations (IMDs). The spread of IMDs would be to support the reduction of inequalities as evidence suggests there is inequitable access across populations.
  • Consider the MSK needs of the local workforce, to create a culture whereby the physical and mental wellbeing needs of the workforce are a priority. All employees are encouraged to report any issues relating to musculoskeletal health at an early stage.
  • Include MSK health in the education and training needs of the workforce, to equip them to deliver high-quality MSK advice and interventions.
  • Promote the use of evidence-based interventions, through influencing commissioners and strategic leaders in the organisation.
  • Support the scale-up of best practice examples.
  • Encourage high-level, executive staff to act as MSK workplace champions
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Musculoskeletal Health: A Public Health Approach

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