NHS England - Transformation Directorate

Elective recovery in London

In London, all acute hospitals across South West London are working together to keep patients with musculoskeletal injuries informed and support them at home with digital tools.

St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Croydon Health Services NHS Trust and Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust are part of this partnership, focusing on the musculoskeletal (MSK) pathway. This new care model enables patients to be supported by the digital programme run by getUBetter. Patients who will benefit are those on physiotherapy waiting lists, pre-surgical waiting lists, outpatients and those recovering after surgery.

getUBetter will provide patients with common MSK injuries and conditions with 24/7 digital support through their journey with personalised, evidence-based behaviour change techniques. This includes symptom checking, nudges, videos, exercises and outcome measures. This helps patients trust their recovery, preventing over-treatment. A patient user of getUBetter explains how useful these techniques were in their recovery when they developed back pain, stating the app “provided really useful, day by day advice, which helped me recover”.

The solution has already been deployed in primary and community settings where evaluation has demonstrated impressive results. It is now being extended into the acute pathway.

By supporting people to recover effectively on an alternative, self-management pathway the programme aims to reduce the number of people on the MSK waiting lists by up to 15%.