Physios win digital AHP award for innovative respiratory training app

Two CSP members triumphed at this year’s NHS England Chief Allied Health Professions Officer (CAHPO) Awards, for creating a free respiratory training app.

Stephanie Mansell and Iain Loughran - CAHPO award winners 2021
CAHPO award winners Stephanie Mansell and Iain Loughran

Physiotherapists Stephanie Mansell and Iain Loughran were named the winners of the AHP digital practice CAHPO 2021 award, sponsored by NHSX.

Ms Mansell, a consultant respiratory physiotherapist at the Royal Free Hospital in London, and Dr Loughran, a musculoskeletal physiotherapist at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, were recognised for their educational app ONCALLbuddy.

Ms Mansell told Frontline:‘We’re totally thrilled and still a little bit shocked and humbled to have been awarded this year’s AHP digital practice CAHPO award.

 ONCALLbuddy is an aide memoir in your pocket, which is designed to help healthcare professional working in acute respiratory care, but especially physiotherapists working on call

‘I can still recall the stress of being on call as a new physiotherapist and we hope that ONCALLbuddy helps to ease some of that anxiety.

‘We hope this win inspires other clinicians to embrace the power of digital and technology to support their practice, and we would like to give a massive thank you to the ever supportive Euan Mccomiskie at the CSP and MC Wadley at Health Education England.

‘Thanks also to all our champions at our workplaces and beyond. And most importantly thank you to the users of ONCALLbuddy!’

Created in response to Covid


ONCALLbuddy image

ONCALLbuddy was originally developed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw a large proportion of the physiotherapy workforce deployed into respiratory and critical care settings.

Realising that these re-deployments may seem daunting for many physiotherapists who had previously been working in other areas, the award-winning physios decided to create a free and easy to use educational resource that would meet the demands of both the workforce and workplace.

Their resulting app, ONCALLbuddy, allows staff to carry a quick reference guide in their pockets. This provides a supplement to existing educational methods, and provides ‘real time’ support for healthcare professionals on the frontline.

An incredible achievement

ONCALLbuddy image

As well as both being NHS England Clinical Entrepreneurs, Ms Mansell and Dr Loughran are also members of CSP’s Digital and Informatics Physiotherapy Group (DIPG).

Commenting on their award win and how the ONCALLbuddy app has evolved since they first developed it, CSP health informatics lead Euan McComiskie said:

‘Initially designed as a resource for those returning to respiratory practice due to Covid-19, it is now being accessed by over 10,000 users to support them as students on respiratory placement and as physiotherapists throughout their career.

From an idea born out of additional pressure from Covid-19 it grew in to a CPD and decision support tool that is jam-packed with respiratory information, evidence and treatment guidance

‘Innovation is difficult at any time but to do it in the height of the pandemic is incredible. They are deserved winners and an inspiration to the other members of the DIPG and our whole profession.’

Digital health awards

Mr McComiskie added that CSP would also like to make an honourable mention to CSP member Christopher Tack who was shortlisted for the Future Digital Leader of the Year award at the recent Digital Health Awards.

‘Sadly he was pipped at the post for the award but rightfully recognised for his achievement with the UK AHP Digital Competence Framework and other local and regional work in the last few years,’ Mr McComiskie said.

‘He is a shining star of the DIPG and we look forward to more coming from him in the near future.’

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