To identify the benefits and implications to staff and service users of having an acutely trained rotational physiotherapist in a community hospice setting for children and young adults with complex health needs.
Qualitative data collection over a 9 month period in the form of questionnaires as feedback forms from staff and parents/ guardians of service users or where appropriate service users themselves.
Staff feedback from questionnaires demonstrated that 100% felt that having a physiotherapist in post was beneficial. 100% of attendees found that the postural care study day was beneficial and 100% would recommend it to a colleague. We have also received positive feedback and comments from parents of service users. However, it was also identified from staff feedback that there are areas of self reported weakness and lack of confidence to carry out limb therapy and airway clearance techniques for these complex children. Staff have also reported an increase in confidence since a physiotherapist has been in post with more of these programmes being carried out.
We have received positive feedback on the role of a rotational physiotherapist at Naomi House and Jacksplace so far. The staff feedback questionnaires identified areas of weakness and poor confidence and has provided us with an opportunity to implement a weekly session specifically for therapy jointly with carers on the care floor. This feedback has shown the benefits to staff and service users of having an acute rotational Physiotherapist in a hospice setting for children and young adults with increasingly complex needs. To our knowledge this is a unique set up.
Cost and savings
There were no cost implications in this study, it was carried out as a service evaluation of a new role with the intention to replicate this going forward to develop the unique role.
We hope to continue to collect data about this service from hospice staff to review their abilities to maintain their competencies and confidence in managing children and young people with increasingly complex needs. There is also potential for further data collection on the impact of the role on self reported quality of life from the service users of Jacksplace.
It has been identified that there is a lack of formal research in this field and this is something that we hope to contribute to in the future with our unique set up. We will aim to continue to build stronger links with UHS as the role progresses and as new therapists rotate into the role from the tertiary centre further links, changes and innovation will continue. We hope that other similar centres could benefit from our experience in this area.
Top three learning points
This work was unfunded
This work was presented at Physiotherapy UK 2019.