Physio-led rehabilitation service hailed as model of good practice

The work of a physiotherapist-led neuro-rehabilitation service in Essex is being held up as an example of ‘inspirational’ care in new clinical guidance.


Neuro rehab team members; back row (left to right): Dee Cornwell, traumatic brain injury nurse specialist; Steve Knowling; associate practitioner; Jessica Dunn, rehabilitation assistant; Sasha Wyman, specialist neuro physiotherapist; Jane Forster, specialist neuro physiotherapist; and Kirsty Smith, specialist physiotherapist. Front row (left to right): Marjorie Smith, lead occupational therapist (OT); Anne Glynn, clinical specialist physiotherapist and clinical lead; Stella Townsend, specialist OT; and Clare Tuffin, specialist OT

The Colchester neuro rehabilitation team, which supports over 1,500 adults with a range of diagnoses, has been included as a model case study in guidance recently published by the Thames Valley Strategic Clinical Network (SCN).

The team of four physios, three occupational therapists, an associate practitioner, a brain injury nurse specialist, a rehabilitation assistant and two neuropsychologists, are based at Colchester General Hospital, and support patients with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, traumatic brain injury, motor neurone disease, and stroke or post-polio syndrome.

Anne Glynn, a clinical specialist physiotherapist in neurology, who is the clinical lead for neuro rehabilitation at Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust who leads the team says that although hospital-based the team is also spearheading efforts provide services in patients’ homes.

‘It’s great recognition for our service to be included in this guidance to clinical commissioning groups about how best to transform neurology services as an example of a needs-led service,’ she said.

‘The team are passionate about the service we provide and are all skilled, experienced and motivated but we’re one of those services which few people know about and which goes largely unheralded so this recognition is a real fillip for us.

‘What’s unusual about us for a hospital-based neuro-rehab team is that we see patients not just in our outpatient unit and on the wards in the hospital but in the community too, and support them and their families from diagnosis often through until the end of life.’

Steve Williams, the SCN’s community neurology project manager, said: ‘I’m sure this will inspire commissioners and others responsible for delivering health care services to patients with neurological conditions to learn from your example.’

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