Physio student wins funding for videos that prepare patients for surgery

A physiotherapy student has received funding to develop a series of online videos to inform patients about surgery and reduce their time in hospital.

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Specialist physiotherapist in trauma and orthopaedics Felicity Litchfield

Felicity Litchfield, who recently completed a MSc in trauma and orthopaedics at the University of Salford, received £730 from the Santander Universities’ Make the Difference Award scheme.

Ms Litchfield, who works as a specialist physiotherapist in trauma and orthopaedics for St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, came up with the idea of making educational videos as part of her MSc coursework.

Her first video is available on YouTube. It is aimed at people who are due have arthroscopic keyhole knee surgery. It explains what the procedure involves, how they should prepare and outlines their expected recovery. It also provides exercise advice and details the signs and symptoms of possible complications, such as an infection.

Educating patients

Ms Litchfield said: ‘We need to get far better at educating patients and this should be done using modern technology rather than outdated information booklets. These can be of poor quality, expensive to reproduce, easily mislaid and confusing, so that patients just don’t look at them.

‘More than 90 per cent of people in the UK have access to the internet, so online videos which are clear and easy to understand are definitely the way forward.

‘This will lead to patients feeling less anxious, being better prepared before their operations and mean they don’t stay in hospital longer than they need to – something nobody wants to do – and ultimately save the NHS money.’

She added that she hopes to use her award to create further videos for people having other procedures, such as total knee replacements.

The Santander Universities’ Make the Difference Award funds students who have an idea to make a difference in their community.

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by Robert Millett

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