Share your success

Katie Clements, clinical service lead at Lincolnshire Community Health Services, says shining the spotlight on a service helps ensure its permanence and growth

Katie Clements,
Katie Clements, clinical service lead at Lincolnshire Community Health Services

The Children and Young People’s Rapid Respiratory Service team is celebrating their success at the NHS Parliamentary Awards after a nomination by Karl McCartney MP led to them being named the Midlands winners for “Excellence in Healthcare”.

The community-based service provides specialist assessment, treatment and management to children and young people aged up to 25 who have complex physical disabilities with additional respiratory problems. This involves a proactive approach with early specialist respiratory physio assessment and training for families, carers and schools in chest physiotherapy management strategies, so they can become experts in the day-to-day management of the chest problems.

The team also provides a rapid response service to children when they are acutely unwell with a chest infection, treating their illness at home and preventing hospital admissions.

Communication is key 

Their award nomination shines the spotlight on a relatively new service and is part of Katie’s overall communications plan to ensure the survival and growth of the service.  

‘I’m very ambitious about the future of the service and this propelled my request that our awards nomination was supported by our MP. The Parliamentary Awards are a golden opportunity to engage with a key local healthcare decision maker, tell him about the work we do and build a relationship with someone who can help make our ambitions become reality.

‘Awards are a great way to enhance the reputation of physiotherapy with external audiences who need to better understand the value of what we do to ensure that services are commissioned.’

Working alongside her trust’s communications team Katie took a few hours out to compose a succinct entry which fitted the criteria and word limit for the awards nomination form. The communications team proof read it and sent it to the local MP who then made the nomination.  

Driven by a need to get as much positive PR as possible Katie places importance on communications to the survival and growth of the highly successful service.

‘Entering awards isn’t about winning or personal glory it’s part of my overall communication strategy to create a buzz about the service. Positive PR helps the service get recognised which makes it harder for it to be decommissioned and builds the business case for it to grow.

‘The work of the team is exceptional and I’m so proud when I see feedback from patients and their families which shows what a difference it makes to patients and this is what drives me to shout about the service from the rooftops – we need to ensure its longevity.’

‘This awards nomination is part of the overall project plan. I recommend that other physio staff think how they can evidence worth continually and prove savings made across the systems financially as well as providing better services and keeping patients in their own homes.’

In 2021, Katie and the team were shortlisted for the paediatric initiative of the year at the HSJ Awards and they also gave a presentation at the national APCP Children’s Physiotherapy Conference after submitting an abstract which was followed by a request to present on it. 

Positive PR helps the service get recognised...makes it harder for it to be decommissioned and builds the business case for it to grow.

‘I’m really happy to shout about the difference physiotherapy makes to patients’ lives. The service is life enabling and helps patients live their best life. 

‘I am the last person to want to be in the limelight, but I’m so passionate about the service and securing its longevity that I will do anything to make sure it succeeds.’

What next? The influencing puzzle

Katie and the team have invited Karl McCarthy MP to visit and see the impact of the service for himself. The team has also tagged him into social media postings and used social media to share positive feedback. They are also committed to publishing results in a research article and researching opportunities that will provide evidence on the value of growing the adult part of the service. 

‘The evidence base is really limited so we’re working with local universities to put that puzzle piece in place and take us one step closer to our goal. I hope others feel inspired to showcase their work and I’d invite others who are fighting to have a similar service in their local area to use our service as a model.’ 

Top tips

  • Aim high when entering awards – and ask the CSP to help! 
  • Collect data on value so you can show the difference services make.
  • Share patients’ stories that communicate the difference your service makes.
  • Use social media to contact local healthcare decision makers and highlight your service’s work.
  • Consider your communications plan carefully and factor it into your overall management plan .
  • Consider your audience and don’t over complicate what you communicate.

    The CSP has a team of staff dedicated to regional engagement. Contact for advice on entering awards and shining the spotlight on your service.


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