Your comments: 3 October 2018

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Tai Chi and tea in Sheffield

I am a junior physiotherapist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and recently started a Tai Chi and Tea class for stroke patients. The aim of the class is to improve patients’ physical and psychological wellbeing.

I have been inspired by Ba Duan Jin, or the Eight Pieces of Brocade, and modified it so it is suitable for stroke patients on the ward. The programme has eight exercises. In each class patients learn two of the exercises. Afterwards, patients stay in the room and socialise.

Following a two-week trial, I received a lot of good feedback from staff and patients. The group has increased from four to eight patients and they all enjoyed themselves and found it useful. 

I am Chinese and I feel grateful that I have this precious opportunity to deliver the Chinese culture to the stroke patients in Sheffield.

It also gives me a lot of reassurance and makes a wonderful chapter of my career.

  • Bernice Lam

Scraps of paper

I am a physiotherapist and proud to be one. Recently, my 87-year-old mother was referred to NHS physiotherapy for a back condition. At the end of the session, my mum asked for any exercise sheets she could use at home. She was shocked to be told they had nothing to give her. 

After much persistence by my mum, the physiotherapist quickly wrote some out for her – scrawled on a scrappy piece of paper. She was not taught the exercises, there was no detail as to what position she should be in, nor how many times to do them.

I am embarrassed and disgusted that this happened. There is no excuse for such poor treatment.

  • Dave Lowen

Help save hydrotherapy pools 

My physio colleague Mel Martin and I have a project to identify all the NHS hydrotherapy pools across the country with services for axial spondyolarthritis (AXSpA).

We took on this work for two main reasons: first, the publication of NICE guidelines which cited hydrotherapy as an adjunct for AxSpA patients. Second, increasing anecdotal evidence that NHS hydrotherapy pools are being closed. 

We are eager to spread the word on the threat to this valuable treatment tool and also continue to map NHS pools. This can then support the NHS use of pools, help patients to understand where their local pools are and protect pools from closure.

  • Claire Jeffries, physiotherapy clinical specialist in hydrotherapy and rheumatology

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