Back pain management audit 2012 – round 2

This second round national clinical audit sought to measure how well occupational health (OH) clinicians and services in all industries throughout the UK are managing staff with back pain, and if there had been any change since the first audit round.

The project later formed part of the National Quality Improvement Programme (NQIP) and was available to all OH services in the UK from January 2014.

Key recommendations

  • OH professionals have improved their management of back pain compared to the previous round of this national audit.
  • Areas of practice are a priority for further improvement:
    • screening for markers of serious spinal pathology (red flags)
    • screening for psychosocial risk factors for chronicity and disability (yellow flags)
    • giving appropriate educational information to patients.
  • Participating services should review their results against the national performance and plan actions to improve local practice.