Matthew Carr, MSKPN Quality Lead – Raising MSK quality standards


Welcome to my first blog on behalf of MSKPN (Musculoskeletal Partners Network), the trade association committed to improving quality and raising standards across musculoskeletal medicine.

I hope you are all enjoying the start of your Summer and that by the time this comes out the sun is shining again. For those of you who don’t know what I do, I work on members’ behalf to promote the quality agenda in MSK healthcare. I have been with MSKPN since January 2021 and I have one day a week to dedicate to this work. I have enjoyed meeting members virtually, hearing what is important to you from a quality perspective and helping shape the early stages of our quality agenda.

I hope by now you will all have seen the MSKPN recommendations for establishing a common MSK quality standard. This guidance document brings together the work and ideas of many industry stakeholders to create a practical and meaningful approach to start consistently proving the value of what we love doing. It is clear this is a priority topic for MSK healthcare right now, with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy currently working to create a new MSK service standards and audit tool and NHS England leading a national programme to create a common standard of what best MSK healthcare should look like (#BestMSKHealth). Many of you will also be familiar with the excellent work Physio First continue to lead on to demonstrate quality of MSK physiotherapy for the private sector with their Quality Assured Practitioner (QAP) and Quality Assured Clinic (QAC) scheme (

The MSK industry is extremely multifaceted, from the wide range of professionals who deliver MSK healthcare to the vast variation in size and makeup of the service providers. What MSKPN aim to achieve with our recommendations is to set a common standard that works across all these aspects of the industry. From single practitioners working from home clinics, to large scale, multi-site private clinics, to NHS organisations and social enterprises delivering MSK services. We want to create a commonality of measuring and demonstrating the value of what we all do in a way that is broad enough to support the variation described, and meaningful enough to create a useful understanding of variation in quality for all involved. This approach needs to be easy to implement, which is why our approach includes only free-to-access measures of quality. This focus on ‘easy’ is also the driver behind our work to engage with our members commonly used patient software providers and encourage them to create templates for easy data collection and analysis, at no additional cost to software users. Most importantly, the outcomes need to be meaningful to our patients so they can clearly understand what value they are likely to receive from your MSK services.

The outcomes of some initial member testing of these recommendations is looking positive. One of our members who is trialling the template from TM3 ( produced the following outcomes from their June data.

I hope you agree how valuable this data will be for the industry and our patients when more of us can present this for our own clinics.

As is the nature with testing, these initial results highlighted some important points for learning and we will continue to refine this process and share updates with members. We are at the start of an iterative journey, but MSKPN are excited to see the momentum is gaining and the outcomes are starting to come in.



Matthew Carr – MSKPN Quality Lead

July 2021


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