The 2017 fellows (pictured) include nine senior clinical physios from older adult services
The part-time fellowship, funded by Health Education England, is made up of online and face-to face-learning. This year the fellowship is giving the nine senior clinical physiotherapists from community and acute older adult services an opportunity to enhance their clinical knowledge, leadership and service development skills.
They are Sarah Lambert, Lynn Iveson, Lorraine Azam, Alex Da Costa, Sarah Smith, Rachel Thomas, Charlotte Tucker, Kate Bennett and Premchand Sarikonda.
Corina Naughton, a senior lecturer at King's College London and programme lead for the older person’s fellowship, said: ‘It’s tremendous having a multidisciplinary perspective within the student cohort. It leads to dynamic inter-professional discussions and sharing of ideas.’
She went on to say that therapists who work with older adults can be ‘inward facing’ and focus on their own service and organisation.
The fellowship, however, was an opportunity for physiotherapists to network with others within their profession and engage with national networks, such as the British Geriatric Society.
Encouraging physiotherapists to demonstrate leadership within their professional bodies and influence strategy and policy within older people’s services was a key part of the scheme.
Dr Naughton said it provided a rare opportunity for continuous professional development in the field of older adult care.
On 20 June the programme will hold its annual conference, where some of the 2016 intake will present the quality improvement projects that are part of the course.
It will be next year when the current physio fellows have a chance to present their projects. But the agenda for 2017 event includes Julie Whitney, a physio at King’s College Hospital NHS Trust, giving a presentation on falls prevention in care homes for older people.
Whether the programme will continue after 2017-18 depends on funding. Health Education England has yet to confirm whether it will continue to provide this, Dr Naughton said.