The pathway is a locally agreed consensus amongst all back pain specialists in Sheffield - from primary care, therapy teams and secondary care.
- It aims to deliver the same high quality service across the city, with good access for all GPs and patients to multi-disciplinary care.
- It highlights the key aspects of care that should be delivered in primary care, and through the tools on this website, facilitates the process.
- It highlights the timescales and triggers for referral to a multi-disciplinary back pain specialist team.
- It highlights the timescales and triggers for referral to secondary care.
Specific areas of change
Low Back Pain
- Chronic back pain sufferers should be directed away from acute services.
- Tools are available for expert and consistent patient advice
- Tools are available for assessing Yellow flags (predictors of chronicity)
Nerve root pain (sciatica)
- Direct assess to MRI scans for Back pain teams, without need for secondary care referral
- MDT meeting with MRI results- back pain team/chronic pain/surgeons (this should reduce referrals of patients that would never fit criteria for surgery)
- Long waits for more intensive input- no need to refer early to get ahead of wait, or feel that no real access to service
- Isolated physiotherapist treatment for back/ leg pain
- Direct referral to orthopaedics for nerve root/ low back pain
What has stayed the same?
- Emergency admission for Cauda Equina /Cord compression/ Acute infection
- Urgent admission/ 2 weeks for red flag symptoms of cancer
- Inflammatory back conditions - Rheumatoid/ ank spond- refer to Rheumatology