Community MSK

GIRFT’s community MSK workstream is working to better enable integrated care systems to commission the delivery of high quality MSK services in the community, which will benefit patients now and into the future.

 The central aims of the workstream are to:

  • Ensure high-quality triage services and optimise referrals for diagnostics and to orthopaedic, rheumatology and spinal services;
  • Enable delivery of high-quality therapies to rehabilitate those who have sustained an injury or are recovering from surgery, and to support people to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to best manage long-term MSK conditions and helping them to remain in or return to work;
  • Integrate digital health therapeutics.
Andrew Bennett

Clinical Advisor for Community MSK

Andrew is a consultant musculoskeletal physiotherapist within Sutton Health and Care, hosted by Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust. He provides expert clinical practice and leadership within Community MSK services, transforming the local framework for delivering triage and therapies, integrating first contact practice, digital health technologies, local leisure services, virtual multidisciplinary meetings, and referral pathways to spinal, orthopaedic, rheumatology and pain management services. He has gone on to take a lead expert specialist role within the Southwest London Integrated Care System.

He is a non-medical prescriber, a member of the Musculoskeletal Association of Chartered Physiotherapists, and former co-chair of the consultant physiotherapist special interest group within the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

Andrew was NHS England’s National Clinical Director for MSK from 2019-2024 – the first Allied Health Professional to hold an NCD role. He led the MSK response to the coronavirus pandemic, working closely with professional and patient facing stakeholders and being recognised for championing co-production and driving integration across systems.  He went on to take a lead role in recovery, leading the former BestMSK health pathway improvement programme, working with GIRFT on improving pathways of care and enabling referral optimisation, and writing the improvement framework to help reduce community MSK waits whilst delivering best outcomes and experience.

He has supported the Major Conditions Strategy work in collaboration with the Department of Health and Social Care, as the well as the delivery of the MSK related labour market measures announced in the 2023 Spring Budget.

Alongside his GIRFT clinical advisor role, he is also providing clinical leadership for the NHSE Digital Health Therapeutics Programme.

Find out more about GIRFT’s data-led approach and best practice resources: