A PIONEERING ‘one-stop clinic’ has been launched at Airedale Hospital for people with shoulder pain.

Orthopaedic surgeons have introduced the clinic, believed to be the first of its kind in the NHS to include a consultant radiologist – reducing waiting and treatment times for patients.

The move means people suffering from shoulder – and elbow – problems will be able to get a diagnosis and treatment plan at the same time.

It is set to slash the number of appointments needed by patients from four to just one – and reduce waiting times to about four weeks.

The weekly clinics will be led by consultant orthopaedic surgeons James Tyler and David Bowe, with consultant radiologist Dr Amit Bharath and specialist physiotherapist Stacey Lalande.

Mr Bowe said: “The most significant benefit is that we’re reducing the amount of times patients have to come back to the hospital to a single appointment.

“Our patients can now get a diagnosis on the day, receive a treatment plan and start that treatment on day one if it is injections or physiotherapy. For those patients that need surgery, we can give them the information and discuss it with them there and then, so they are not having to go away and come back each time.”

Once the clinic becomes established, it is intended that patients will be seen and treated within 90 minutes.

Some patients with conditions such as a frozen shoulder – who need an intervention known as hydrodilatation – or younger patients with shoulder instability where they require an MR arthrogram, will have to attend another appointment.

But they will still be able to benefit from physiotherapy, or have an injection if required, at the clinic.

Mr Bowe added: “We’re taking a much more team-focussed and patient-centred approach, rather than just a consultant dealing with a patient as it would have been in the past.

“It’s now very much a case of a group of specialists all working as a team to get the patient seen and treated as soon as possible.

“We’ve also taken the opportunity to transform our service and clinic setting and how we see patients, ensuring we keep our staff and patients safe.”

Dr Bharath said: “The significant benefit of having a radiologist in clinic is that we can give immediate diagnostic answers to the patients.

“By working very closely with the surgeons rather than having patients come back three or four weeks later, we can answer the question at the time of their presentation and also do an intervention.

“It’s virtually unheard of to have a patient being assessed by a consultant surgeon and then scanned and imaged by a consultant radiologist, all within one clinic.”