Green shoots

As I write this, the sun outside my window is shining and swathes of blue and yellow crocuses bloom in the local parks. As if that were not enough to lift the spirits, last night saw the launch of NHS England’s Best MSK Health programme. ARMA has worked for many years to raise the profile of MSK health. We have made some progress, often in very specific areas, such as the introduction of First Contact MSK Practitioners a few years ago. Now we have a step change in the profile and priority given to MSK in England.

You can read more detail on the programme in this newsletter and watch the launch event. The programme aims to be integrated across all aspects of MSK, coproduced and collaborative. The launch event was filled with references to things ARMA has long campaigned for – integrated biopsychosocial care. Healthcare of value to all, including social value. The importance of MSK health to enabling people to live independent active lives.

The delivery of this programme will happen as the NHS starts thinking about new structures in response to the NHS White Paper. Aiming to break down some of the boundaries within the NHS and integrate more with wider stakeholders, this could be really helpful in implementing Best MSK Health. I wrote this about the importance of those wider stakeholders. Local authorities and communities need to be an integral part of promoting health as opposed to treating illness.

These are just green shoots. I am excited about the possibilities of Best MSK Health. The programme is right at the start, appointing the workstream leads and establishing ways of working to ensure it is joined up. The hard work is yet to come. Getting not just a work programme but good implementation locally will be a harder task. And that’s where you come in.

There is an amazing vision of personalised, high-quality integrated MSK care, of coproduction and collaboration. That can’t be done by a small number of people involved in workstreams at a national level. It will be become a reality through the contributions of everyone – professionals and those with lived experience. So please, get involved, help shape this, nurture those green shoots and together let’s create a garden.