A new tool that helps people manage chronic pain brought on by musculoskeletal disorders (MSK) will draw on the expertise of an alliance of leading organisations in the field of rheumatology and arthritis care.
The Self-Care Hub is a digital platform that empowers people with long-term health issues to self-manage their conditions and take day-to-day control of their well-being by encouraging behaviour change.
The Hub’s developer, Kirklees Council-owned LookingLocal, is partnering with the Musculoskeletal Solutions Alliance (MSA) to explore the Hub’s application for arthritis and related conditions.
The Alliance, which brings together the British Society for Rheumatology, the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society and Arthritis Care, supports and advises commissioning bodies, other medical groups and service providers.
The MSA will work with LookingLocal to develop a large proportion of the Hub’s content around musculoskeletal disorders - and will also offer its expertise to any Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) that takes up the Self-Care Hub.
The Self-Care Hub has been rolled out by Kirklees Council’s Public Health Directorate, working with the Greater Huddersfield and North Kirklees CCGs. It recently completed patient trials in West Yorkshire under the title, My HeathTools. Patients experiencing chronic pain, breathing problems or anxiety took part in testing the platform, and also contributed to focus groups on the user experience.
The Hub uses proven cognitive behavioural therapy techniques to help users achieve measurable goals by promoting independent decision-taking; users can also engage the support of a circle of formal and informal carers.
Several CCGs have already shown an interest in the application of the Self-Care Hub to musculo-skeletal pain management.
Phil Baker, Director of Commissioned Services at the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, is the main liaison between LookingLocal and the MSA on developing the MSK component of the Self-Care Hub. He said: “The MSA is pleased to work with Kirklees Council and LookingLocal on a solution that underpins the proactive self-management of musculoskeletal conditions. A number of CCGs are interested in the platform and we look forward to supporting them in reviewing and implementing the Self-Care Hub.”
Guy Giles, Managing Director of LookingLocal, said: “Gaining the insight and expertise of the MSA will be core to the development of the MSK component of the Self-Care Hub and is reinforcing our belief in its value as a pain management tool for people affected by arthritis and related conditions. The hub has had very positive feedback from both professionals and end-users and we look forward to seeing it bring about real improvements to the lives of this group of patients.”