Pulmonary rehab accreditation scheme is a ‘real opportunity’ for physios

The national accreditation scheme for pulmonary rehabilitation, launched on 9 July, will enable physiotherapists to raise the profile of their services, said the newly-appointed clinical lead for the scheme.

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Sally Singh said the accreditation scheme will raise the profile of the great work physios do

Sally Singh, professor of pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, said: ‘This is a real opportunity for physiotherapists to get their programmes acknowledged and supported by their trusts and raise the profile of the great work we do.’

The accreditation scheme is designed to address the lack of both standardisation of pulmonary rehab and a mechanism in the NHS to ensure patients get a quality-assured service.

Professor Singh said: ‘It looks at things like workforce, training, planning, integration into other services, health and safety, equipment and will drive quality improvement.’

She is also clinical lead for the pulmonary rehabilitation national audit programme, and for both strands of work is the only allied health professional in a leading role.

Under her guidance, the audit will develop a continuous process to collect data. As part of this, it is looking for clinicians to comment on a draft clinical dataset.

Once launched, the dataset will contain data on all adults with a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who have attended an initial assessment for pulmonary rehab in England, Wales and Scotland.

The two schemes are managed by the Royal College of Physicians and supported by the British Thoracic Society and the British Lung Foundation.

‘I think the main aim of both of these schemes is to improve the quality of care for patients with COPD,’ said Professor Singh.

‘The audit is essentially a national benchmarking exercise. We will be able to identify areas of good practice and learn from them, and identify areas which need support.’

She said it was ‘critical’ that the audit is led by a physiotherapist because pulmonary rehabilitation is usually led by a physiotherapy team. If not, it would have a strong contribution from the profession.

She added: ‘We know patients highly value this intervention. It has got the highest grade of evidence possible and is highly effective for patients and cost effective.’

Steve Tolan, the CSP’s head of practice, welcomed both developments and said: ‘I strongly encourage members to be involved for the benefit of the populations they serve.’

To find about more about the accreditation scheme, email PRaccreditation@rcplondon.ac.uk

 

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by Gill Hitchcock

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