Vol. 7 Issue 2. September 2002


Things slow down in the summer. I wish. We are hearing reports of various medical insurers querying the credentials of doctors who have been recognised for years. PPP have accepted recognition criteria and are looking at procedure codes for musculoskeletal medicine. BUPA have just released version three of their Back Pain evidence based approach, and I have yet to finish reading it, however, it includes the use of x-ray for investigation of back pain so we still have a way to go. Still on that issue we will have lots of support from Royal Colleges.

Legal and General can be difficult and, in emails, keep saying they will get around to reviewing the situation, it just doesn’t find its way to the top of their in tray. I have been trying for 18 months. Norwich Union is at the top of my in tray and this month will see contact being made to progress the status of M-S physicians with them.

The brochure produced last year and circulated widely earlier this year, has done the required job. We have been in close discussions with the RCGP concerning GP’s with special interests and have had significant discussions with the DoH on developing specialist status. In the same time frame DoH and RCGP have rewritten their pamphlet “Implementing a scheme for GP’s with special interests” and lo and behold not orthopaedics as before but MUSCULOSKELETAL MEDICINE as one of the areas in which skills are to be developed. The goal posts are moving all the time and for us they are getting nearer and wider.

Please all make sure, if you do epidurals, that you are familiar with the BIMM guidelines, as published, or available through Deena, and know that we have published some. The Royal College of Anaesthetists and the Pain Society have put out some guidelines for their constituency of doctors, which are not as relevant to our general type of practice and you may be expected to fall into line with them. On the basis of the Bolam Principle if you follow our guidelines you have peer support.

On a lighter side several of us appeared by prior arrangement at GP 2002 in Birmingham for a presentation session, Dr R Chakraverty and myself, and Dr. Rod MacDonald for demonstrations of techniques, with a rather lithe and flexible assistant. No not Rod the other one. The council often discuss whether it is worthwhile or cost-effective to do these meetings. To widen the circle of doctors aware of musculoskeletal medicine I think we have to continue. This meeting especially we have, year on year, been invited to do more and more by the organisers. This suggests that their feedback is positive from the attendees and we must be making a good impression.

FIMM has a congress in Finland in September and we should try and make our presence felt amongst our European colleagues and show we take an interest especially as the President our own Mike Hutson has to step down this year after doing sterling service in pushing FIMM closer to the 21st century.

Finally enjoy your well earned holidays and return rested, fit and healthy for the ensuing months of manipulating patients, friends and the medical establishment to our own ends.

Peter Skew

July Treasurer's Report =>