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Physio13: NHS improvement lead says good use of data is key to better stroke rehab

11 October 2013 - 11:06am

Jill Lockhart, the national improvement lead at NHS Improving Quality, told the CSP’s Physiotherapy 2013 conference of the huge importance of using data on stroke rehabilitation to improve services.


It was particularly important that commissioners could see the benefits of services, she said.

‘As therapists we are not particularly good at collecting the right sort of data,’ said Ms Lockhart who for 25 years was directly involved in the treatment of stroke patients, as well as developing and leading local physiotherapy stroke services.

Physios need to be good at collecting, managing and sharing data, she told delegates. ‘We might not like it, but data drives funding. And you have to prove that your service has economic merit, otherwise it will always be under scrutiny for whether it will be funded for another year.’

She outlined other key messages for better stroke rehabilitation. These included using evidence, involving patients, and taking a ‘pathway’ approach, which means looking for improvement  not just in your immediate area, but across the whole of the patient’s care journey.

NICE support for physios

Naomi McVey, technology implementation manager at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) told delegates about using NICE guidance and implementation support for stroke rehabilitation.

She said that health professionals are often unaware of NICE implementation support, but that examples of shared learning, topic-specific resources and audit tools are available on the NICE website.

There is also a team of NICE implementation consultants who can help NHS organisations to put ‘particularly challenging’ guidance into practice.

How NICE guidance is put into practice will depend on local service models, and vary according to the ways in which individual organisations approache NICE guidance, however.

Everything NICE publishes is web-based, she said, and the guideline on stroke rehabilitation can be searched for on its website, using its CG162 number.

NICE has started developing guidelines for the transition between health and social care and it will be very important for physios to get involved in this process, Ms McVey added.

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