A GROUNDBREAKING new service is to be launched in York for patients facing long waits for hospital treatment for painful muscle and joint conditions in the wake of the pandemic.

Nimbuscare says that because of the Covid pandemic, people with musculoskeletal conditions were sometimes waiting many months longer than normal after being referred by their GP to a specialist physio or orthopaedic service at hospital.

"During this time, some of these patients may struggle with their pain and their condition may deteriorate further," said a spokesperson for the provider of primary care services across the York area, whose membership includes 11 GP practices.

He said Nimbuscare would be addressing such issues by seeing patients first, with people sent direct to the Acomb Garth Community Centre to be seen by clinicians.

"Nimbuscare is working with York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to address the high demand for this type of service by joining with local GPs to launch what has been described as a ‘groundbreaking new service’ for local people," they said, adding that musculoskeletal conditions accounted for about 30 per cent of GP consultations in England.

Dr Daniel Kimberling, Nimbuscare’s Medical Director, explained: “We know that some of these patients feel they are stuck in the system or just in between care, so we are really pleased to be launching a support service that joins up the care journey for these patients.

“Patients with specific joint pain problems will be asked to come to our clinic. We will examine and assess them. If necessary we will advise on pain relief, exercise or refer on for extra support. We may also offer specialist injections to relieve any pain if appropriate.

“This is a great thing for patients and is another example of how we are working collaboratively across the City to give our patients the best possible care, as we work to recover from the impact of the Covid pandemic here in York.

The Press has reported recently how Nimbuscare is set to offer support for people on waiting lists for medical procedures and surgery by offering free blood pressure monitoring so they will be well prepared for their pre-op assessment.

“We don’t want people to get to their surgical pre-assessment clinic, only to be told they have to wait longer because their blood pressure is not well controlled,” said Dr Kimberling.

The teams will also be offering help and support to stop smoking and lose weight, with evidence showing that this improves people’s recovery and reduces complications after surgery.

*Nimbuscare's membership includes York Medical Group, Dalton Terrace Surgery, Unity Health, Jorvik Gillygate Practice, My Health, Priory Medical Group, Pocklington Medical Practice, Old School Practice, Front Street Practice, Elvington Practice and Haxby Group Practice.