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Physios' input recognised at good practice awards

2 August 2013 - 4:08pm

An NHS project that provides physio-led health and wellbeing sessions was spotlighted at this year’s Healthcare People Management Association’s awards ceremony, held in London on 27 June.

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Nadine Williams, OH manager and Jonathan Sheppard, clinical specialist physiotherapist. Photo: HPMA

The Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust service was a runner-up in an awards category focusing on initiatives that improve the health and wellbeing of NHS staff.

All 14 categories at the awards recognised ‘excellence in human resource management’ and were backed by all four UK health departments.

Jonathan Sheppard, a clinical specialist physiotherapist, and Nadine Williams, an occupational health manager, set up the Ashford and St Peter’s service at in an effort to reduce the levels of staff sickness caused by musculoskeletal disorders (MSD).

It means that staff are now seen before they go off sick and are helped to return to work more quickly.

‘I firmly believe that physiotherapy should be the prominent specialism for improving the health and wellbeing of staff,’ said Mr Sheppard.

‘We have shown that true multidisciplinary working, involving physiotherapists, nurses, doctors and admin staff, is key to providing best patient care. I’m extremely thankful to the whole team as well as the trust for their ongoing support.’

The physio-led health and wellbeing sessions mean rates of MSD-related sickness have fallen by 29 per cent compared to the previous year. The judges described the project as an excellent example of a fast-track physiotherapy service.

Regional recruitment in Northern Ireland

A Northern Ireland-wide recruitment scheme that had physiotherapy input won a category highlighting innovations in human resources.

In the scheme, recruitment teams from across the five NHS and social care trusts in Northern Ireland collaborate to reduce duplication and save money.

Physiotherapy heads of services from all the trusts helped to pilot the award-winning model, which is currently being used to recruit allied health professionals including band 5 physiotherapists.

Physiotherapists also contributed to a campaign run by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, which aimed to help older people retain or regain their independence by developing multi-agency teams.

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