A new exercise and education programme is helping patients avoid surgery and supporting their improved fitness. The programme is also saving the NHS money and freeing up valuable bed space by putting patients at the heart of managing their conditions.
The CHAIN (Cycling Against Hip Pain) programme is a six week exercise and education treatment pathway for people with hip pain. The programme was first piloted in 2013, and was created by Professor Robert Middleton and Associate Professor Tom Wainwright, of the Orthopaedic Research Institute, Bournemouth University in partnership with the Royal Bournemouth Hospital and BH Live.
Professor Robert Middleton says: “CHAIN is a great success for both patients and the NHS. Over 70% of people completing the CHAIN programme have less pain, are able to do more activities and have avoided surgery. It is the go to first line treatment for hip pain.”
With a hip replacement costing the NHS almost £7,000, this represents a big saving to the tax payer, while ensuring other patients requiring surgery do not have to wait as long. It provides better outcomes for the patient, as depending on their job role, patients generally take at least six weeks off work to recover, in addition to time off needed for any follow up appointments and aftercare.
Neil Cowan, Director of Operations for Surgery at the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals, says: “This fantastic collaboration between Bournemouth University, BH Live, ActiPath and The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals is helping people to manage their hip pain and avoid complex surgery. Furthermore, patients are supported in the longer term with lifestyle and wellbeing help, alongside all the marvellous benefits that increased exercise brings. We are very excited about the results of this programme and look forward to developing it further for the benefit of more NHS patients both locally and nationally.”
So far, over one hundred people have been referred onto the CHAIN programme out of 500 who have been commissioned by the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals.
The results for those patients who have completed the programme have been extremely positive, with 100% of participants reporting that they would recommend the programme. A small minority of patients have returned for a clinical intervention where appropriate, and whilst the programme is not mandatory, most people referred for CHAIN are taking up the opportunity to improve their health and well-being.
Associate Professor Tom Wainwright, also of Bournemouth University, says: “We continue to be delighted with the results of the CHAIN course. Participant feedback is excellent, with 100% recommending the course to others, and many achieving life changing results. It is an excellent example of how working across organisations in partnership can bring benefits to our patients”
The programme is designed to promote the self-management of hip pain and is based on the latest NICE guidelines for the treatment of osteoarthritis. These guidelines recommend local muscle strengthening, aerobic exercise, and education as a core part of the treatment. Cycling strengthens muscles around the hip, helps to reduce pain, and is an excellent form of aerobic exercise.
The CHAIN programme is securely digitally managed through an innovative online platform from local software experts, ActiPath Limited. Their secure portal provides end-to-end lifecycle management of patients throughout the programme, including real-time outcome analysis and patient communication via email and text.
Associate Professor Wainwright continues: “The deployment of ActiPath has allowed us to increase efficiencies within the CHAIN programme whilst ensuring consistency of delivery and future scalability.”
With the ongoing success of the CHAIN programme, other health conditions are being considered for the opportunity to be included in future CHAIN programmes
For more information about the CHAIN Programme, visit: https://microsites.bournemouth.ac.uk/ori/category/chain/