Poll makes a difference to patient satisfaction at Belfast physio service

Physio staff and patients in Belfast have been recognised for their work in improving physiotherapy services, by gathering people’s experiences and feedback.

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Belfast Health and Social Care Trust interim physiotherapy services manager Elaine McConnell, centre, accepting a finalist award from Louise Skelly and Marion Ritchie from the Patient and Client Council, at the ‘Involving you, improving care: our involvement story’ conference on 22 June

An initiative which saw service users polled for their feedback won Belfast Health and Social Care Trust's Making a difference award. The work then went on as the trust's submission for the regional Patient Client Council Making a difference award where it reached the finals.

The trust’s physiotherapy outpatients service has high demand with over 22,000 referrals per year, covering musculoskeletal, women’s health, fractures, haemophilia and rheumatology.

‘We were keen to find out how patients experienced every aspect of our service and how they thought we could improve in the future,’ Ms McConnell told Frontline.

‘Our initiative involved service users early on in the design of a questionnaire to capture key information that they felt was important in service delivery. It then went out to around 800 service users for completion.’

A number of changes have been made in line with patients’ responses which will improve the patient experience of our services, Ms McConnell said.

‘Our aim is to continue to engage and work in partnership with service users to address health issues and shape how we deliver our outpatient service to best meet their needs.’

Patient comments from the questionnaires included:

‘I didn’t have much hope of getting the use of my muscles back before my appointment…the physiotherapist has given me a lot of hope and encouragement.’

‘Went above and beyond in the treatment I was given - I couldn’t thank her enough.’

‘Therapist really listened to me - made me feel at ease…helped me to understand what and why things were happening.’

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by Gary Henson

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