Bristol Bones and Joints HIT 2022-23

HIT co-directors Sanchit Mehendale, Emma Dures, Andrew Moore and Louise Thorne look back at the HIT's achievements in the last year.

  • 1st April 2023

Supporting patients

NHS Charities Together funding in 2021 enabled the HIT to develop a self-management app for newly diagnosed inflammatory rheumatic disease patients. The app is now available to patients at Weston, Southmead and the BRI. Patient groups inputted to the app’s content during every stage of development and continue to be involved as the app begins to be rolled out.

The MSK Shared Decision Making tool for osteoarthritis helps hip and knee osteoarthritis patients have confidence in, and feel in control of, decisions about their treatment. This is achieved by ensuring that patients are equipped with the correct information about their illness and treatment option.  Developed with researchers from University of Bristol, patient groups and the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) Integrated Care Board, the tool has now been adopted for use in the region and is available on the BNSSG Musculoskeletal webpages.

The HIT has been working with Sirona, UHBW, NBT and the BNSSG MSK team to promote the Waiting Well initiative. They have delivered sessions with primary care teams to encourage patients to access self-help resources whilst they are waiting for joint surgery. The HIT is also working with the BNSSG MSK team to develop My Joint Health Hub, where people can get evidence-based self-help information without going to their GP.

Attendance at the HIT’s Zoom Coffee Mornings has increased this year. Running every six weeks, the events aim to improve mental health and wellbeing of patients affected by MSK and IRDs who can’t attend face to face patient groups.

Measuring patient outcomes

Patient related outcome measures (PROMs) are a snapshot of patient’s health status or health-related quality of life, and are collected through short, self-completed questionnaires. HIT members have developed a Quality of Life PROM for Giant Cell Arteritis patients, funded by NIHR and presented as an abstract at the British Society of Rheumatology. The same team is leading on a new PROM to understand the impact of taking steroids on patients’ quality of life.

Addressing inequalities in services

Under-served African heritage communities are disproportionately affected by musculoskeletal disorders. Funding has enabled Dr Alice Berry to work with Race Equality North Somerset in Weston Super Mare to find out more about their needs and preferences for support to engage in physical activities.

The One Trauma and Orthopaedics (T&O) Service aims to reduce inequalities in accessing trauma and orthopaedic services across the BNSSG, depending on where patients live. This year, work driven by the HIT has, for the first time, seen patients listed by time order and clinical priority, with access to clinic and theatre slots at both of the region’s NHS Trusts.

Funding enabled in 2022-23

Bristol Bones and Joints HIT helped secure £3,460,990 in 2022-23 for research, improving outcomes and addressing health inequalities.