<< Back to News
AwardsApr 9, 2024

Physiotherapist Andrew Bennett appointed by GIRFT as national clinical adviser for community MSK

Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) – the national programme designed to improve medical care by reducing unwarranted variations in the NHS – has appointed physiotherapist Andrew Bennett to run a new community musculoskeletal (MSK) services workstream.  

Taking to X (formerly Twitter) earlier today (9 April), GIRFT said it was ‘delighted’ to announce that Andrew – who is a former national clinical director for MSK – was taking up the clinical adviser’s post.

Andrew is a consultant MSK physiotherapist based at Sutton Health and Care, which is hosted by Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust. He was NHS England’s national clinical director for MSK from 2019 to 2024 – the first allied health professional to hold a national clinical director’s role.

In his former role, he worked closely with GIRFT on improving pathways of care and enabling referral optimisation, the organisation said.

‘[He] will now advise on the programme’s new community MSK workstream, with the aim of better enabling integrated care systems to commission the delivery of high quality MSK services in the community, which will benefit patients now and into the future.’

Posting from his own X account, Andrew said: 'Really excited to have this opportunity to build on work done over the last few years to better enable systems to commission the delivery of high quality digitally enabled MSK services in the community - thanks to all for ongoing support.'

Photo Credit: GIRFT
Andrew combines his new role with being a consultant MSK physiotherapist in the NHS


Consultant rheumatologist Lesley Kay

Meanwhile, GIRFT’s longstanding joint clinical lead for rheumatology – Lesley Kay – has been appointed as the NHS England’s new national clinical director for MSK.

Dr Kay, a consultant rheumatologist based with The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has been the joint clinical lead for GIRFT’s rheumatology workstream since 2017, working alongside Peter Lanyon.

In 2021, they published their national report for rheumatology, based on visits to 62 NHS trusts and questionnaires returned by all of the 134 English trusts offering rheumatology services.

The report made a series of 23 recommendations to help improve services, including measures to help patients with non-inflammatory painful MSK conditions – such as osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia – to be seen faster and closer to home in primary or community settings, freeing up hospital rheumatology clinics for patients with other severe rheumatic and MSK disorders.

The other clinicians working alongside Andrew in GIRFT’s updated MSK portfolio are

Professor Tim Briggs: GIRFT chair, clinical lead for orthopaedic surgery and SRO for MSK. He is a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust

Mike Hutton: clinical lead for spinal surgery

Bob Handley: clinical lead for adult orthopaedic trauma surgery

James Hunter: clinical lead for paediatric trauma and orthopaedic surgery

Lesley Kay and Peter Lanyon: joint clinical leads for rheumatology

Flora McErlane and Gavin Cleary: joint clinical leads for paediatric rheumatology

Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) is a national programme designed to improve medical care within the NHS by reducing unwarranted variations. For more information about GIRFT, click 

Author: I A McMillan
<< Back to News
By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy and Privacy Policy.