Multi-level Integrated Data for musculoskeletal health intelligence and ActionS

Chief Investigator:  Professor George Peat 
Trial Manager:  Ms Steff Garvin

Funder Name / Ref Number:

Nuffield Foundation / OBF/43990


2020 - 2025 

Project Summary

Reducing the burden of common musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions and addressing NHS priorities requires better integration of data upstream of hospital care. Meaningful data collected from population level surveys, primary care electronic health records (EHR) and MSK community service providers have not been co-ordinated and linked together to inform public health and primary care policy making. In this project, we seek to overcome these barriers by developing a novel and scalable approach within North Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent (population ≈ 483,000).  

From population level surveys, primary care records and MSK community service providers, we will:  

(1) collect the same patient outcomes on MSK severity, impact, and levels of patient engagement (knowledge, confidence, understanding), together with measures of patient experience, processes of care (e.g. waiting times), general health status, and wider social determinants 

(2) create scalable methods to link different data sources relevant to MSK prevention and management,  

(3) produce templates for health intelligence reports, based on expert analysis and user feedback, to stimulate dialogue and action among decision-makers, service providers and the public to improve MSK health and care quality.  


We will test the resulting system using questions that exemplify priorities of key stakeholders. Can such a system: 

  • reliably quantify inequalities in musculoskeletal health and identify those at greatest need?  

  • identify unwarranted variations in outcomes and processes of care?  

  • provide the evidence needed to evaluate the impact on MSK health and hospital admissions of local service reorganisation and other local/national policy initiatives? 

  • provide practical insights that influence national MSK health intelligence systems?