Acute Low Back Pain Drop In Clinic: A Pilot Project

NHS Lanarkshire

Lower Back Pain (LBP) represents a considerable burden to individuals, families, society and the economy. It results in many problems, including impaired quality of life, mobility and daily function; long-term morbidity; a higher risk of social exclusion through inability to work; reduced income; reliance on sickness benefits; and social isolation through disability.

An improved approach to information sharing, referrals, interventions and treatment would have an obvious beneficial impact on those with lower back pain, and potentially on the service too.

With support from the Improvement Fund, NHS Lanarkshire piloted a drop in clinic within the East Kilbride locality as a new model of service delivery for patients suffering from an acute episode of low back pain.

The drop in clinic is the first point of contact for patients who present to their GP with an acute episode of low back pain, thus reducing the delay for triage and advice. With early access to screening questions and objective testing, any patients who require medical review or intervention can be signposted to the appropriate service.

As a high percentage of back pain settles without physiotherapy treatment, appropriate patients can be issued with evidence based advice and guidelines to enable effective self-management.

The project was supported by grant funding from the ihub's Improvement Fund during 2016-2017.

  • What was the approach?
  • What was the impact?
  • What was the learning?
  • What are the next steps?