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Physiotherapists win at Health Service Journal’s Value in Healthcare Awards

2 October 2014 - 1:44pm

Physiotherapy staff made a splash at this year’s Health Service Journal (HSJ) Value in Healthcare Awards, which celebrate outstanding efficiency and improvement in healthcare.

University Hospital Southampton - HSJ award winners

The winning team from University Hospital Southampton trust: therapy technician Shirley Wynne, Dr Rebecca Cusack, clinical lead physio Zoe van Willigen, therapy technician Leanne Gallagher, senior physio Nikki Collings, senior sister Sarah Herbert and Dr Dominic Richardson

The multidisciplinary intensive care team at University Hospital Southampton NHS trust triumphed in the clinical support services category. Judges were impressed by the team’s success in mobilising patients at an early stage.

Clinical lead physiotherapist Zoe van Willigen told Frontline that the service employed two physiotherapy technicians in 2012, in an attempt to reduce the length of admissions.

The pair now work independently and provide patients with two 30-minute sessions of rehabilitation and mobilisation every day, in addition to standard physiotherapy sessions.

Their input improved patient outcomes and reduced the mean length of stay by two days, she said, with cost savings of up to £271,000 over a year.

‘As therapists we always ask ourselves “Can this patient walk today, ventilated or not?” and work back from that,’ she said.’ This means that patients get the highest level of rehab possible, every day of their intensive care stay.

‘And the fact that we have physiotherapy technicians implementing this service means it is extremely cost effective too.'

Ultrasound guided injections

A physio-led team was also shortlisted in the value and improvement in medical technology category. The team, from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS trust in London, was recognised for a service redesign that offers ultrasound guided injections.

Alison Hyde-Blake, clinical specialist physiotherapist, said: ‘We were delighted to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award.’

The HSJ awards ceremony took place in London on 23 September.

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