Wheelchair physio wins at Windrush 70 awards, as NHS honours impact of black and ethnic minority staff

A physiotherapist has won an NHS Windrush 70 clinical excellence award for her work to improve wheelchair services in Berkshire.


Physio award winner Kashmira Sangle (second right) with Yvonne Coghill, NHS director of workforce race equality, Natasha Sloman, from the Care Quality Commission and awards presenter Henry Bonsu

Kashmira Sangle triumphed in the clinical excellence award for allied health professionals category of the awards, which were presented in Manchester on 12 June.

Mrs Sangle came to the UK from India in 2003. She is now clinical lead for east Berkshire’s specialist mobility service, part of Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

Her role sees her working with severely disabled children and adults and engaging with families and carers in the community.

In addition, she has been actively involved in securing additional funding to improve staffing levels and reduce referral to treatment times for wheelchair users in east Berkshire.

She said: ‘I would like to dedicate the award to my patients and their families and carers, because they are the ones who keep me grounded and motivated.

‘They are constantly fighting little battles on all fronts, for everyday things that able-bodied people take for granted.’

Celebrating the work of BME health staff



Mrs Sangle was the only physiotherapist shortlisted in the NHS Windrush 70 awards, which celebrate the contributions of black and minority ethnic (BME) people to the NHS – from the Windrush generation of 1948 to the present.

Abrar Hussain, a consultant psychiatrist at her trust, nominated Mrs Sangle for the award and the public were able to vote online for shortlisted nominees.

Judges from NHS England and the Care Quality Commission chose Mrs Sangle as the winner from a shortlist of four.

Dr Hussain said: ‘Kashmira has a passion for improving the quality of patient care.

‘This led her to bring about positive changes in the form of collaborative working with other teams, which has enhanced patient experience. The teams include children’s services, community nursing, and palliative care.’

Early intervention project

As part of her efforts, Mrs Sangle has carried out a quality improvement project. It offered early intervention to prevent pressure ulcers among wheelchair users. The project aimed to avoid unnecessary and costlier episodes of care later on.

‘We work out in the community and we work very closely with the families and carers,’ she said.

‘But there isn’t a course out there that makes a physiotherapist or an occupational therapist into a wheelchair clinician.

‘So, over the years, I’ve tried very hard to build and grow our team and train people to develop empathy, so they are aware of all the problems that disabled people and their families face.’

Mrs Sangle has also set up a BME staff network at her trust and is an active member of the network’s committee.

Author: Robert Millett

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