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Welsh disability service praised for physio prescribing

A Welsh multidisciplinary team has won praise for a pilot scheme that allows physiotherapists to assess, inject and prescribe drugs as part of a community-based spasticity service.

The six-month trial in Carmarthenshire got underway in August 2012 and is being provided by Hywel Dda Health Board.

The service was highly commended in the board’s recent ‘Best of Health’ staff awards. It is now hoped the team can roll out the scheme on a long-term basis.

Physiotherapists Gary Morris and Helen Skilton, both clinical leads in complex neurological care, and Dr Gupta, a consultant physician at Glangwili General Hospital, jointly developed the project.

Mr Morris said the aim is to provide spasticity patients with care closer to home, while improving outcomes and ensuring value for money.

‘By using community-based physios as assessors, injectors and supplementary prescribers, the capacity for clinics will be increased in a cost effective way  and there is scope in the future to provide elements of assessment and treatment in satellite clinics closer to people’s homes, and also in their homes,’ said Mr Morris.

Commenting on the project, CSP professional adviser Pip White, said: ‘This is a good example of how the future introduction of independent prescribing in practice will allow service redesign, meaning services such as this can be truly rehabilitation led, for which physiotherapists are ideally placed.’

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