We pushed the boundaries of teamwork to provide care beyond our walls for residents in the community with musculoskeletal pain.

New Rapid Access Clinics provide faster help for pain

A year ago, Maganbhai Patel was sitting in his living room in Brampton suffering from debilitating, chronic low back pain that was hampering his ability to work and impacting his overall quality of life. Today, the 70 year-old Brampton resident is pain-free and ready to return to work thanks to a referral to the new Rapid Access Clinics (RACs).

Launched in 2019, through a local health care partnership with Osler, Trillium Health Partners (THP) and the Central West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), RACs were designed specifically to help people with conditions like arthritis, which affect muscles, bones or joints and cause pain and mobility issues, get faster access to care. Through RACs patients are assessed and receive appropriate referrals sooner – and have easier access to surgeons or other treatment options that will help to better manage their condition, in addition to receiving care planning and follow-up care.

"I had tried several different treatments like physiotherapy, massage therapy and acupuncture, but the results never lasted," says Patel, who was physically fit prior to the onset of his low back pain.

Less than four weeks following his doctor’s referral to the RAC, Maganbhai was sitting in a clinic with Advanced Practice Provider, Chirayu Desai, who is contracted by Osler. Desai is among other health professionals, such as chiropractors and physiotherapists, who are trained to assess and manage patients at their own clinics in the community.

"Chirayu was great," says Patel. "He explained to me that my back issues were muscle-related and developed a six-week exercise plan for me. He had me go through each exercise with him so I knew how to do them, and gave me handouts to follow when doing the exercises in my home. I did the exercises three times a day for six weeks, and now I’m pain free!"