Bringing knowledge together, bringing people together: those are the aims of ARMA’s clinical networks project. Bringing them together to improve the lives of people with MSK conditions, of course. That really sums up what ARMA is all about. We are about breaking down silos and professional boundaries, creating services which work in pathways, where multidisciplinary teams ensure people get the right support at the right time. We are about sharing knowledge and good practice so that professionals know what works and can replicate excellence in their local area.

The project is about to move into a new and exciting phase, with the launch of local networks and the on line MSK Knowledge Hub. The knowledge hub will include an on-line forum where people can share experience and learn from each other. Both this and the networks are a bit of a leap into the unknown. There isn’t a set programme or a set of measurable outputs. The point is to let local people take the lead and respond to their own priorities. We can provide some tools to help, but we can’t control what happens.

As someone who likes project plans, measurable outputs and KPIs, that makes me a bit nervous. But I think it is the right approach. This blog from the Kings Fund talks about change as “a messy, non-linear process. It is unpredictable and difficult to chart in absolutes or step-by-step project plans with a neat beginning, middle and end.” I hope the ARMA project will help those of you involved in the messy, unpredictable process of working to improve services to share ideas and enthusiasm, to find out what has worked elsewhere and why, and to connect with others who know things can be better.

Let’s celebrate the unpredictable, the creative and the messy in the interests of driving positive change. Look out for more details on the network on our website shortly and in the next newsletter.

Get involved: sign up to the network, join the hub and make a difference.

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