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Northern Ireland physio wins manager of the year award

18 November 2013 - 11:31am

A physiotherapist has been named allied health professional (AHP) manager of the year by the Institute of Healthcare Management Northern Ireland.


Brendan McConaghy receives his award. Photo: Institute of Healthcare Management Northern Ireland

Brendan McConaghy, lead physiotherapist in occupational health for Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, won the inaugural AHP Manager of the Year award at the institute’s annual conference on 7 November.

The award recognised the part Mr McConaghy played in developing a rapid access and early intervention physiotherapy service for staff.

Under the six-month pilot, staff received physiotherapy within five working days of being referred by their manager. The service is due to be launched trust-wide early next year, thanks to a management decision to increase funding by £135,000.

‘Our trial saw a significant reduction in days lost [15 per cent] and episodes of absence due to musculoskeletal (MSK) issues [12 per cent],’ said Mr McConaghy.

‘Staff gained from a health point of view, as they were able to access more rapid treatment and advice, and we were able to demonstrate that it was cost effective and had financial benefits.’

Huge savings

‘If the results from the trial can be replicated trust-wide there will be savings of over £615,000 per annum,’ says Mr McConaghy.

‘I hope that other trusts will follow suit and start using the same model, because nobody knows more about MSK health and physical functional capacity than physios, so we are well placed to assume occupational health roles.’

The other three finalists for the award, Barbara Walker, Jane Rankin and Louie O’Connor, are all physiotherapists at Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.

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