Your comments: 23 November 2016

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Designs on you

When arthritis stops people doing the ordinary things in life it can impact on their independence and confidence. That’s why Arthritis Research UK is supporting Design Council Spark, a support programme and fund created to help people turn ideas into commercially successful products. We are looking for innovative product designs that offer practical solutions to the challenges of living with arthritis. The deadline for entries is 10 January. 
Three successful projects will receive £15,000 and a place on a Design Council 16-week programme providing expertise and mentoring. One finalist will then be awarded up to a further £50,000 of the £200,000 funding available, as well as bespoke one-to-one mentoring if their product idea has the proven potential to assist those with the condition.
In 2016, Handy-Fasteners, the brain-child of three Sheffield University graduates won this category (pictured, right). The magnetic clothes fasteners can be retrofitted to existing garments, replacing fiddly buttons. Handy-Fasteners will make getting dressed independently much easier. The team of designers will now receive funding to bring their product to life. Physio staff are in a unique position to know the limitations arthritis can place on an individual. 
  • Helen Hurman, Arthritis Research UK 
If you have a design idea, visit the design council website here.  

A role to fill

Levels of obesity are increasing in the UK, bringing with them a number of chronic health conditions that can reduce a person’s quality of life and increase the risk of premature mortality. 
For some, bariatric, or weight loss, surgery offers the only realistic strategy for swift, significant weight loss with the potential for concomitant improvement in related comorbidities such as Type 2 diabetes. 
While the primary aim of surgery is to reduce fat mass, the surgery will also reduce metabolically active fat free mass, which is likely to be detrimental in the longer term. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends that following surgery, patients should receive ‘exercise counselling’. 
In practice, this is unlikely to be delivered by physiotherapists, despite the fact that we have the knowledge and skills to facilitate increased levels of physical activity and exercise. Research shows that body composition following bariatric surgery can be influenced by exercise, and that it could play an important role in optimising longer term surgical outcomes by promoting a preferential loss of fat mass and conservation of the more metabolically active fat free mass. 
The absence of physios in post-bariatric care is a missed opportunity for physiotherapists, patients and the NHS as a whole. 
  • Jennifer James, senior physiotherapist, Aintree Weight Management Service

Can you help?

I am a physiotherapist in Uganda and work with a consultant orthopaedic surgeon. We have found that having discussions about patients before, during and after surgery has been helpful to their eventual recovery.
I have gained more understanding of the orthosurgical procedures and have come up with clear rehabilitation plans for patients.
However, I need more evidence to back up my involvement as a physiotherapist in theatre during orthopaedic procedures and to present this to top colleagues.
If you can offer any form of assistance, such as formal training or published papers, please contact me at;
  • Edrine Galiwango, China Uganda Friendship Hospital, Naguru, Kampala-Uganda.

Frontline and various

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