Allied Health Professional Musculoskeletal Pathway Minimum Standards: A Framework for Action 2015-2016

The document provides a framework for Allied Health Professionals in the implementation of standards to support person-centred musculoskeletal pathways.


This document contains a national minimum standard framework applicable to Allied Health Professional (AHP) musculoskeletal services across Scotland. Musculoskeletal conditions include a diversity of complaints and diseases localised in joints, bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, tendon sheaths, bursae and muscles[1].

The document is predominately aimed at those AHPs involved in delivering the national '4 Weeks AHP Rapid Access to Musculoskeletal Services' target, namely Occupational Therapists, Orthotists, Physiotherapists and Podiatrists. The purpose of the document is to ensure that people requiring musculoskeletal services, receive the quality of care and the support they require, at the appropriate time by the appropriate person. The document focuses on AHP services and the interface requirements both into and out of AHP services.

The framework has been developed by a group of AHP musculoskeletal clinicians, originally providing a pathway framework for low back pain, which has evolved to a minimum standard framework for all AHP musculoskeletal pathways. It is not condition specific.

The aim of the framework is to reduce unnecessary variation within musculoskeletal services provision and facilitate delivery of key quality policy directives, in particular the triple aim outlined in the NHSScotland 2020 Vision; quality care, value and sustainability, and a healthy population[2].

Allied Health Professionals working in close collaboration with service users, medical and other colleagues are essential to enhancing musculoskeletal services and fostering engagement with stakeholders at all stages of the musculoskeletal pathway. The national standards will underpin redesign of the service user clinical pathway and support clinicians in the process. Application of the framework will provide consistency of approach and outcome.

Senga Cree
National Lead Musculoskeletal Pathways/Musculoskeletal Waiting Times


Email: Susan Malcolm

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