A £120 million funding injection aims to boost services for Bedfordshire patients with musculoskeletal problems such as back or joint pain.
The cash will be invested over the next five years, to improve care for people with chronic and debilitating musculoskeletal conditions.
More than 45,000 Bedfordshire patients each year use NHS-funded services for these types of problems. One in 10 people living in Bedfordshire has a musculoskeletal condition such as back or joint pain, arthritis, tennis elbow or carpel tunnel syndrome.
The Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group says it is investing in an integrated system of care and support tailored to patients’ needs.
In the future, patients should find more of their care can be provided in or near their own GP surgery.
And they should also have a bigger say in their own care and treatment.
There will be more focus on measuring and improving the clinical quality of care and on its ability to meet patients’ expectations.
A partnership leading the new system of care includes the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, Arthritis Care, the Pennines MSK Partnership, Horizon Health Choices, the Luton and Dunstable NHS Foundation Trust, and Circle.
The new partnership will take responsibility for its first patients in January next year.
Patient representative Bob Smith said: “This service will make a huge difference to patients because it will offer them a more integrated, seamless service, with most of their care being available in the community.
“This ensures patients get the very best care, closer to home, and the local health service can make better use of resources.”