What's new?

Overall ethos

The pathway is a locally agreed consensus amongst all back pain specialists in Sheffield - from primary care, therapy teams and secondary care.

  • It aims to deliver the same high quality service across the city, with good access for all GPs and patients to multi-disciplinary care.
  • It highlights the key aspects of care that should be delivered in primary care, and through the tools on this website, facilitates the process.
  • It highlights the timescales and triggers for referral to a multi-disciplinary back pain specialist team.
  • It highlights the timescales and triggers for referral to secondary care.

Specific areas of change

Low Back Pain

Nerve root pain (sciatica)

  • Direct assess to MRI scans for Back pain teams, without need for secondary care referral
  • MDT meeting with MRI results- back pain team/chronic pain/surgeons (this should reduce referrals of patients that would never fit criteria for surgery)

What's out?

  • Long waits for more intensive input- no need to refer early to get ahead of wait, or feel that no real access to service
  • Isolated physiotherapist treatment for back/ leg pain
  • Direct referral to orthopaedics for nerve root/ low back pain

What has stayed the same?

  • Emergency admission for Cauda Equina /Cord compression/ Acute infection
  • Urgent admission/ 2 weeks for red flag symptoms of cancer
  • Inflammatory back conditions - Rheumatoid/ ank spond- refer to Rheumatology