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FLEX winners

5 July 2005 - 9:10am

Frontline Excellence Award winners

Innovation in the NHS will be recognised and rewarded at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy's annual Congress in Birmingham on Saturday (21 October).

Three physiotherapists who are using their expertise and imagination to make a real difference to the lives of their patients will step forward to receive their FLEX Awards - prestigious national awards sponsored by the magazine Physiotherapy Frontline to recognise excellence and innovation in the profession.

This year's award winners come from Glasgow, Worcestershire and the Wirral, and lead programmes to tackle osteoporosis, back pain and neurological rehabilitation. The winner receives £1,500, and as a special one-off commendation, the second place entrant will receive a cheque for £500.

CSP chair and superintendent physiotherapist, Natalie Beswetherick, was one of the four FLEX judges. She said: 'The competition attracted a very high standard of entries from all over the UK and once again, physiotherapists have proved that they can develop and lead innovative practice, which is of enormous benefit to both patients and to colleagues in the health service.

'Physiotherapists have a crucial role to play in ensuring that every patient can return as close as possible to their previous state of health, either after an accident or an illness has impaired their physical capacity.

'All of our winners have devised new ways to do exactly that, and have important lessons to share with colleagues around the country.'

The winning entry, submitted by Gisela Creed of the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, has created and developed a city-wide programme aimed at reducing the levels and impact of osteoporosis. The programme is delivered jointly through hospitals and leisure centres and has proved to be greatly rewarding both in terms of professional satisfaction and in meeting patient needs.

Second place has been awarded to Jenny Robinson, deputy head of therapy services at Kidderminster Hospital. Her team set up a telephone assessment and advice line in order to respond more efficiently to patients suffering from an acute episode of low back pain. The project has won praise from both GPs and patients.

Third place goes to Clare Fraser of Arrowe Park Hospital, the Wirral. She has worked with the neurological rehabilitation team in devising a sensory rehabilitation programme, primarily targeted at stroke patients. The work of the team has helped 96 per cent of patients to achieve goals previously outside their reach, returning them to activities involving successful hand function, and transforming their lives.

The judging panel also included high profile patient advocate and former nurse, Claire Rayner, the CSP's communications director, Jane Tonkin and CSP professional adviser, Ruth ten Hove.

The awards will be presented by Natalie Beswetherick at a special ceremony at the annual Congress on Saturday, October 21, at 12.30pm.

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the professional, educational and trade union body for the country's 39,000 chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and assistants. Physiotherapy is Britain's fourth largest health profession after medicine, nursing and midwifery.

For further information, please contact the CSP press office on 020 7306 6616 / 28

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