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Bupa UK has launched an online ‘Knee Clinic’ which aims to equip patients with the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions on treatment options for knee conditions.

The website is available to both members and non members of Bupa, and offers information and advice about the variety of treatment options available for different knee conditions, as well as general tips for preventing knee pain.

Dr Tom Crisp, musculoskeletal clinical director at Bupa, said a lack of awareness of the full range of treatment options available for knee pain is “preventing many people from seeking and receiving the treatment they need”.

He said: “There are now many different ways to treat knee pain – from physio and lifestyle changes, such as exercise and improved diet, through to podiatry and injections – and most people will be able to find a solution that works for them.

“If patients are better informed about their treatment options, they will have a much more constructive conversation with their GP and will ultimately have better outcomes.”

He told Health Insurance Daily that Bupa plans to offer a similar service for other musculoskeletal conditions – and eventually for all parts of the body – but has started with knee conditions as they are one of the most common conditions the insurer sees, and one where it has identified the greatest need.

Dr Crisp added that the service fits in with Bupa’s overall strategy of “empowering” patients to make the right decisions for them regarding their treatment.

He said: “The more information that a patient has when they contact the health services, the more likely they are to get the right decision, and that affects the outcome.

“We want people to able to consider both surgical and non surgical options.”

Bupa provides its members with access to its Treatment Options Service – a team of specialist advisers who can help them decide on the best treatment for them – while it also has specialist Patient Support Teams for both back and knee and hip conditions, which aim to work alongside clinicians to help members access effective treatment quickly.

In addition, the insurer has published research today showing that one in four Britons say they have suffered from knee pain in the last year.

The survey of more than 4,000 adults found that a third of those who are currently in pain have been suffering for over five years.

Furthermore, 42% of those who have suffered from knee pain in the last year have opted not to see their GP about the problem – and of those, a third said it was because they believe nothing can be done about their condition.

Of those who did see their GP about their condition, only one in three said they were offered a good choice of treatments.

Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan, who was forced to retire from the sport following a succession of knee injuries, said he supports Bupa’s new service.

Vaughan, who is a Bupa member, said: “It is so important that people understand their options when it comes to treating knee pain and that they’re not suffering in silence.