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Physio teams scoop national awards

26 July 2013 - 4:44pm

Three physiotherapy teams were declared winners in their categories at the Care Integration Awards, held 9 July in London.


Consultant physiotherapist Gail Sowden from the Impact team at Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership NHS Trust displays the award for pain management

The Stroke Therapy Team at the North Devon District Hospital came top in the stroke category and NHS Trafford and Angel and Bowden: Community MSK Pain Management team triumphed in the Musculoskeletal Care category. The Impact pain management service run by Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership trust won in the pain management category for its integrated approach to chronic pain management.

The Health Service Journal award recognises quality in patient care and innovative service delivery. In total there were 208 finalists from 146 organisations.

The North Devon team was recognised for its early supported discharge package which provides intensive rehabilitation in patient’s homes and its 12-week exercise and self-management ‘Vista’ programme. This has resulted in trust patients seeing a 28% increase in walking speed after 12 weeks and a 24% improvement in overall physical wellbeing. The new pathway has also reduced overall length of hospital stay by six days, outweighing the cost of the service by £500,000.

Meanwhile a project for patients with unresolved pain symptoms developed by rehabilitation providers Angel and Bowden for the former NHS Trafford PCT (now Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group) clinched the MSK care category award.

The three-stage integrated pathway for MSK care was developed for patients who are unable to comply with a standard physiotherapy regime. It encompasses physiotherapy assessment and group based education and exercise with digitally delivered cognitive behavioural interventions. The project has made a saving of around £6.5k from first attendances alone.

Physiotherapist Louise Rogerson, who originally commissioned the package for NHS Trafford, said: ‘I saw a gap in service provision. We didn’t have a combination of physiotherapy and CBT in primary care, so we would have to refer people onto the hospital which would take a long time. We wanted an early management service that would stop people from becoming chronic pain patients.’

Ms Rogerson is now director of service development at Intelesant, for which Angel and Bowden are a subsidiary company.

The Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Impact pain management service, meanwhile, was recognised for delivering improved patient outcomes while avoiding multiple referrals to different services. A new care pathway was developed bringing together existing pain management services in primary, secondary and tertiary care, alongside the development of a new community based pain management group.

Consultant physiotherapist on the team Gail Sowden said previously chronic pain patients were using multiple services. ‘We identified a need for single point of access to an interdisciplinary service that could offer psychological support with injection therapy. In addition, primary care physiotherapists providing the community group have been upskilled to only refer patients to secondary care if they really need to see us. The service is achieving good clinical outcomes in reducing patient disability and stress on healthcare useage.’


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