Physiotherapists who provide excellent care to people with ankylosing spondylitis (AS), which affects about 200,000 people in the UK, have received awards from a national charity.
NASS Chairman Raj Mahapatra and award-winning extended scope practitioner Liz van Rossen
The awards, for health care professionals who went above and beyond the call of duty to help people with AS, were voted for in an online poll of patients by the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS).
Liz van Rossen, an extended scope practitioner who runs an AS clinic at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Trust, won the Excellence in AS Care award for an individual. Meanwhile, the specialist AS team at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Disease, Bath, won the team award for Excellence in AS Care.
Claire Jeffries, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy manager at Solent NHS Trust, won the Best Care Provided by a Physiotherapist award. And the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, where Claire works, also won the award for Best AS Clinic.
Physiotherapy at local NASS branches
The charity also recognised the work of the physiotherapists who lead its local branches, for offering ‘expert and affordable group physiotherapy sessions’.
Clare Longton of NASS Lancaster was voted Best Branch Physiotherapist. Claire Harris, Victoria Manning, Jaanki Palan and George Marvin of NASS London Harrow received the award for Best Branch Physiotherapy Team.
The awards were presented in November at the Houses of Parliament, where the charity’s chief executive Debbie Cook praised the work of all the physiotherapy winners.
‘Regular exercise and physiotherapy is such an important part of treating and managing AS,’ she said.
‘So we were delighted to be able to recognise the work of so many physiotherapists at our awards ceremony.
‘The nominations received really showed how all of the winners had made a real difference to people’s lives – these awards are thoroughly deserved.’
AS is a life-long form of inflammatory arthritis which mainly affects the spine. Symptoms tend to appear first during late teens or early twenties.
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