AQP Back Pain

AQP (Any Qualified Provider) Lower Back and Neck Pain Referral criteria:


A patient is eligible for referral to the service if they present with primarily back or neck pain with or without ‘referred’ symptoms to the limbs including:


·         Whiplash associated disorders

·         Stiffness and restricted movement

·         Cervicogenic headaches

·         ‘Mechanical’ neck and low back pain

·         Degenerative pain

·         Postural related neck and back pain.


Referral Mechanisms:


‘Urgent’: Patient referral is considered urgent if one or more of the following apply:

·         Patient dependent on strong analgesics e.g. tramadol.

·         Severe sleep disturbance due to condition.

·         Clinical condition likely to significantly and quickly deteriorate without intervention.

·         Severe impairment of activities of daily living.

·         Deteriorating neurological states.

‘Standard’:  All patient referrals that are not categorised as urgent, for example:

·         Patient with intermittent pain.

·         Patient has a mild to moderate reduction in functional ability.

·         Mild to moderate impairment of activities of daily living.

·        Patient’s condition has the potential for improvement with intervention.

Exclusions:Patients who meet any the following conditions are not appropriate for referral and therefore not covered in this service:

·         Suspicions of serious pathology– urgent to secondary care or as per locally agreed pathways.

·         Patients under 16 years of age

·         Patients that do not meet referral criteria.

·         Patients who are not registered with a GP in locality.

·         Patients who it is recognised at point of referral / initial assessment have little or no potential for further or sustained improvement through undertaking a course of treatment.

·         Housebound patients

·         Patients with widespread or chronic (greater than 1 year) musculoskeletal pain.

·         Patients who have a primary peripheral limb problem with secondary back and neck pain (e.g. hip or shoulder problems, foot or gait abnormalities).

·         Women who are over 35 weeks pregnant.


Please note:if a patient has already been seen by an AQP MSK Provider in the preceding 12 month period, a second AQP referral is not permissible for the same injury / body part (unless it is justified that the initial package of AQP care should be re-opened).

Referrals are sent via AQP referral form direct to provider of choice

Referral Form

List of AQP Providers in Cornwall

Musculoskeletal service any qualified provider (AQP) map

Date reviewed                     26/10/2021

Next review due                  26/10/2022

Sifter name                          Dr Rebecca Hopkins


Version No.  1.1