Rehab physios in Scotland have made videos to improve consistency in walking aid provision

Two specialist rehab physios at NHS Forth Valley have created what they believe is the first video-based learning resource in Scotland to ensure consistency in the provision of mobility aids by healthcare support workers (HCSWs).

A timed up and go test, as featured in the video learning resource

Libby Simpson and Sara Thomson from the rehabilitation care group developed the six-module ‘HCSW Mobility Aid Provision’ resource, which includes short in-house videos. It was launched on the online learning platform LearnPro NHS in August and is already attracting wider interest.

The modules were developed for NHS Forth Valley but at our recent launch we had very keen interest from other health boards,’ said Ms Simpson.

With funding from NHS Education for Scotland, the resource was developed in response to a need, which had been highlighted by a steering group, to standardise and improve the effectiveness of HCSWs in the provision of walking aids across the health board.

The physios decided to use video after looking at other written approaches, used nationally, and thought that a visual approach would help to avoid variations in understanding. ‘The innovative thing for us was to make the short in-house videos with the team,’ said Ms Thomson.

Indoor and outdoor mobility

The modules have been designed to ensure that HCSWs have all the skills and competencies they need for the tasks they already do, as well as adding to understanding.

‘Some staff will be picking up new skills and knowledge on conditions and factors that are important in the provision of a walking aid. They are also designed to cover every eventuality, for example, when to use one or two walking sticks and what to think about before taking a patient outside,’ said Ms Simpson.

The modules cover: Balance, walking aids, walking patterns, indoor mobility and outdoor mobility. They should take about 20 minutes to complete, with an assessment and practical demonstration with a patient on completion. Dedicated sign off sheets show competency and HCSWs are supported throughout the programme by a physio mentor.

A learning resource

The HCSW competencies group: Stuart Wilson, Sara Thomson, Libby Simpson, Grace Jamieson and Anne Harrower

By sharing the resource on a commonly used online learning platform, the physios hope that it will have wider use across different services and settings. They are also planning to share the videos on YouTube to make them accessible to other staff and patients.

‘We thought it would be good to create a learning resource that we could share on LearnPro so that every HCSW in NHS Forth Valley will have the same competencies and will be working to the same song sheet,’ said Ms Simpson. ‘We also feel it will be really useful in community and social care settings and as it’s rolled out will help with standardisation.’

The resource can be found on LearnPro under:  NHS FV: Mobility Aid Provision Modules.

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