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Fitness for work service wins £75,000 NHS innovation prize

18 March 2015 - 2:04pm

An occupational health physiotherapy service in Derbyshire has won £75,000 for its innovative support for NHS staff with musculoskeletal injuries.

Fitness for work service wins £75,000 NHS innovation prize

L-R: NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh, former CSP chair Ann Green and award-winning occupational health therapists Tracy Selsby-Orlandi and Jayne Crook

The fitness for work service triumphed in the rehabilitation challenge category of the 2015 NHS England innovation challenge prizes, awarded last month in Manchester.

The service at Derbyshire community health services NHS trust started in 2010. In 2013 it was estimated to have saved £250,000 in sickness absence costs, according to specialist occupational health physiotherapist Jayne Crook, who leads the service with head of occupational health Tracy Selsby-Orlandi.

They received the prize from NHS England’s medical director Sir Bruce Keogh and former CSP chair Ann Green, who was on the judging panel.

Ms Crook told Frontline: ‘Our service aims to supports staff from the trust who are struggling to remain in work or are off sick.

‘We offer a fitness for work assessment that is work-focused and includes bio-psychosocial screening, functional capacity evaluation and written guidance to patient’s managers about what aspects of the role they are fit to do.’

Impressive results

The trust’s data for 2013 shows that of the staff referred to the service:

  • 45 per cent were off sick on initial assessment compared to none at discharge
  • 25 per cent were on restricted duties/hours on initial assessment compared to 10 per cent at discharge
  • 30 per cent were on normal duties on initial assessment compared to 90 per cent at discharge

The service currently provides clinics in Chesterfield, Alfreton and Bakewell and the prize money will allow clinics to open at three further sites and increased capacity at existing clinics.

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