Your comments: 6 January 2016

Your comments on topics covered in the last two weeks. 

Three cheers!

The team I work in (community therapy services, St Mary’s Hospital, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust) has won two awards. 
The first one was a quality care award for patient excellence. All award winners went forward to the next stage and we won the Anne McWatt involvement award.
On Friday 11 December, I travelled to London and was presented with a CSP Distinguished service award by CSP president Baroness Ilora Findlay of Llandaff.
This makes a total of three awards in a couple of months for our team! 
Thanks to the CSP for a well-organised awards day at Hotel Russell. It was an amazing experience. (Angela is pictured with CSP council chair Catherine Pope (left) and Baroness Finlay).
  • Angela Brett, associate member 

Like to Skype

Our domiciliary neuro practice, EPhysio, received a phone call from a lady in her 70s with a diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy. She said: ‘I know I’ve got this for the rest of my life but I just want someone to sit down with me and explain it to me.’
I could help, but was in a different country at the time. Wanting to find a fix – as physios do – I suggested a telephone appointment. I was initially taken aback when she suggested Skyping, but it proved to be a brilliant use of time and resources.
The Skype consultation was comfortable, uncomplicated and mutually successful. We have gone on to successfully trial matching our skills with this technological medium and evolved a viable physiotherapy option.
Working in private practice and the NHS I see many patients who expect longer, fitter lives. We can’t make everything better but we can transfer our knowledge and skills to patients so they can make sense and take control of their own diagnoses and benefit from informed choice.
Much of our work involves listening and counselling. Skyping can supply this demand admirably in NHS and private practice. We are rolling out our Skype service from this month. 
  • Sue Davies, Ephysio

Crying shame

Julia Tabrah’s column about her father left me in tears.

It was very difficult for me when my dad was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer.

He needed to go to hospital but he had never been in one before and wasn’t keen. The paramedics who took him were very kind and caring and everyone was helpful in the emergency multidisciplinary unit.

But it was a different story on the ward and I could relate to Julia’s story as the communication was almost non-existent.

There were some really kind nurses but, on the whole, they had no time to talk and didn’t know the answers.

One night we asked a nurse what was happening and she said dad’s notes were on the other side of the ward and she wasn’t getting them.

My mum sat by my dad’s bedside for two weeks from 3pm to 8pm and no one asked how she was.

She wasn’t asked  if she had any questions or even if she wanted a cup of tea.

Dad was told he was ‘palliative’ when none of the family were there and we were never called to a meeting. Not long after he wanted to discharge himself. He died 12 days later at home with us. 
I work in an integrated care team and we do try to keep patients informed. 
It’s one of my saddest memories that people didn’t communicate with me and my family about my dad and his care. This is a basic need that means so much.
  • Hilary Bradbury, the integrated care team, Clay Cross Community Hospital, Chesterfield, Derbyshire

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