Publication - Strategy/plan

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

Published: 8 May 2015
Part of:
Health and social care

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

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


Advanced Nurse Practitioner
A registered nurse who has acquired the expert knowledge base, complex decision-making skills and clinical competencies for expanded practice, the characteristics of which are shaped by the context and/or country in which s/he is credentialed to practice. A Master's degree is recommended for entry level.

Allied Health Professional Advanced Musculoskeletal Practitioners
Advanced practitioners are experienced professionals who have developed their skills and theoretical knowledge to a very high level which is supported by evidence. They perform a highly complex role and continually develop practice within Musculoskeletal Services.

Allied Health Professionals
Allied Health Professionals are a specific group of Health and Social Care professionals regulated by and registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. They include the following professions: Arts Therapies (including Art Therapy, Drama Therapy, Music Therapy) Diagnostic Radiography, Dietetics, Occupational Therapy, Orthoptics Orthotics, Paramedics, Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Prosthetics, Speech and Language Therapy, Therapeutic Radiography.

Extended Scope Practitioners (ESPs)
Expert physiotherapy practitioners trained and competent to work in their specialised clinical area.

General Practitioners (GP)
General Practitioners (GP) are qualified medical practitioners who treat acute and chronic illnesses and provides preventive care and health education to patients.

Musculoskeletal Conditions
Musculoskeletal conditions include a diversity of complaints and diseases localised in joints, bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, tendon sheaths, bursae and muscles.

Healthcare Professional
In this document refers to a medically trained doctor registered with the General Medical Council, an Allied Healthcare Professional registered with Health and Care Professions Council or a nurse registered with the Royal College of Nursing.

NHS 24
NHS 24 is the name of the national confidential health advice and information service provided by NHSScotland.

NHS Inform
NHS Inform provides a co-ordinated, single source of quality assured health and care information for the people of Scotland.

Occupational Therapists
Occupational therapists take a whole-person approach to both mental and physical health and wellbeing, enabling individuals to achieve their full potential. Occupational therapy provides practical support to enable people to facilitate recovery and overcome any barriers that prevent them from doing the activities (occupations) that matter to them. This helps to increase people's independence and satisfaction in all aspects of life.

Orthopaedic Surgeons
Orthopaedic surgeons provide both elective and trauma care. In trauma their work includes treating fractures following accident in the home, on the road, at sport and those related to falls in the elderly, often associated with osteoporosis. Their elective work includes treating patients with arthritis of bones and joints and the soft tissues, and congenital, hereditary, developmental and metabolic disorders that affect the musculoskeletal system. Surgeons are able to replace worn-out joints, repair torn ligaments, remove abnormal or damaged tissue and stiffen those joints that are severely damaged.

Orthotists design and fit orthoses (braces etc) which provide support to part of a patient's body to compensate for paralysed muscles, provide relief from pain or prevent physical deformities from progressing.

Pain Management
Pain management is a growing multidisciplinary specialty dedicated to treating acute, sub-acute, and chronic pain. The goal of pain management is to improve quality of life and help patients return to everyday activities without surgery.

Physiotherapists are concerned with human function and movement and maximising potential. Physiotherapy uses physical approaches to promote, maintain and restore physical, psychological and social wellbeing, taking account of variation in health states.

Podiatrists assess, diagnose and treat foot and ankle pathologies to maintain and enhance locomotion function of the feet and legs, to alleviate pain, and to reduce the impact of disability. Specialist roles are developing in biomechanics/musculoskeletal care, surgical podiatry in the foot and rheumatology.

Radiology provides diagnostic imaging services to assist doctors and other healthcare professionals in both diagnosis and deciding upon the best management of a patient's problems. When appropriate radiologists use minimally invasive methods to treat disease.

Rheumatology is multidisciplinary branch of medicine that deals with the investigation, diagnosis and management of patients with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions. This incorporates over 200 disorders affecting joints, bones, muscles and soft tissues, including inflammatory arthritis and other systemic autoimmune disorders, vasculitis, soft tissue conditions, spinal pain and metabolic bone disease. A significant number of musculoskeletal conditions also affect other organ systems.

A system of access that allows patients to refer themselves to an AHP service directly, without having to see or be prompted by another healthcare practitioner.

SIGN Guidelines
The Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) develops evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for the National Health Service (NHS) in Scotland.

Suggested Self-Referral
A system of access that allows patients to refer themselves to an AHP service directly, having been prompted by another healthcare practitioner.


Email: Susan Malcolm