What the standard says
A patient with persisting or worsening symptoms, signs or function is reassessed at an early stage to determine the barriers to improvement. Referral for a multidisciplinary approach is considered. Specialist medical or surgical review is indicated for severe or progressive back or leg pain that is unresponsive to other therapy, progressive neurological deficits, or other signs of specific and/or serious pathology.
What this means for you
Ensure that systems, processes and resources are in place to support clinicians to monitor the symptoms, function and psychosocial wellbeing of patients with low back pain. Protocols should describe appropriate referral pathways and support timely access, including for patients with persisting and worsening pain with signs of serious pathology.
For services providing one component of multidisciplinary care, ensure that systems are in place to facilitate effective shared care across multiple healthcare providers, including mechanisms for regular communication among providers to facilitate the delivery of consistent information to the patient.
At a healthcare service level, assess whether multidisciplinary pain clinics and specialised spinal surgical services are meeting the needs of their populations. Consider quality improvement activities to assess effectiveness and improve access to care.