How to set up an early intervention service

The following key steps must be taken to establish an early intervention service:


Enabling cross-sectoral working

Co-ordinating resources or pooling budgets between different government departments, at national and regional level, can enable effective cross-sectoral working, which is essential for delivering an integrated early intervention service.

Further information on cross-sectoral collaboration, with best-practice examples, is provided in the following section.


Identifying and engaging clinical champions

Clinical champions play a pivotal role in effecting change: systemic change, which is necessary to deliver a fully integrated early intervention service, requires a change in prevailing attitudes and existing mind-sets. This difficult task is made possible by the clinical expertise, leadership skills and passion of clinical champions.


Developing ‘models of care’

A model of care outlines evidence-based best practice care and services for an individual, population group or patient cohort as they progress through the stages of, in this case, an MSK condition. It aims to ensure people get the right care, at the right time, by the right team and in the right place.


Identifying, and overcoming, barriers

The successful implementation of new models of care in healthcare systems depends on identifying and overcoming both cultural and behavioural barriers at three different levels: system; clinic/provider; and individual. To do this, appropriate incentives should be used that help different stakeholders operating at these levels achieve their respective aims and goals.

Further information on overcoming barriers, with best-practice examples, is provided in a following section.

Fit for Work Global Alliance is led by The Work Foundation and supported by AbbVie.

Toolkit partners:

Toolkit sponsor:

Fit for Work Global Alliance is a multi-stakeholder initiative, driving policy and practice change across the work and health agendas in Europe and worldwide (over 35 countries). The vision is to raise awareness of the facts of MSKs and make the case for more investment in sustainable healthcare by promoting and supporting the implementation of early intervention practices. Fit for Work is led by The Work Foundation – Lancaster University, which is also providing the Secretariat. AbbVie is founding sponsor since 2008. All the research is produced independently by The Work Foundation, with full editorial control resting with the think-thank alone.

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