Workforce planning and development

An evaluation of virtual physiotherapy as an alternative to in-person treatment.

Until recently, virtual physiotherapy services represented the minority of support offered by the private and public healthcare sectors. The Covid-19 outbreak created a sudden need for digital health services to be rolled out more widely.

Ascenti wanted to use its dataset of 27,000+ virtual appointments to see how results for online physiotherapy compared with those for in-clinic care and to gather views from patients and clinicians to enable further improvement.

Integrating Physiotherapy into an Adult Social Care Occupational Therapy service.

The Occupational Therapy (OT) service at Leicester City Council (LCC) faced some difficulties when they were working with a person who required Physiotherapy (PT) input in the community. Namely the long waitlist for input and an inability to establish a person’s baseline level of mobility when this was needed before recommending care packages, equipment or adaptations. The impacts on LCC were an increased need for formal care, equipment and adaptations as well as increases in OT staff’s workloads and/or delays in picking up new cases. Additionally, the cost to the person is highlighted as delays in accessing PT input can lead to further deterioration in their abilities (dependence) and/or the need to wait longer for equipment/ adaptations which may put them at risk.

Increasing long-term participation in sports based activities in children and young people with acquired brain injury.

Participation in sports can play a key role in a child’s quality of life, development and learning (Willis, 2018). Children and young people (CYP) with acquired brain injury (ABI) face significant barriers in accessing sporting and leisure activities.  This reduces the likelihood of participation in regular sporting and leisure activities (Anaby,2018),  both in the recovery period and the later stages (Willis, 2018).

This is a quality improvement project that explores the implementation of a sports based group in a neurorehabilitation centre for CYP with ABI.

The Front of House Team: Enabling and Supporting Discharge from the Emergency Department.

There is an increasing strain being placed all across the NHS systems. Emergency Departments up and down the country are being widely criticised for their performance against the national targets. We also have an aging population often with multiple co-morbidities that often present to the emergency department with both health issues and social care issues. The Royal Stoke Emergency department is one of the busiest in the country. In 2018 it had 111,091 attendances. 30,074. It had a higher than national average attendance to admission rate for over the age of 70. An external body wanted to see if creating a new MDT made up of senior decision makers with a background in the care of frail patients could make a difference.

A 3 month prospective audit of physiotherapy referrals to a Community Rehabilitation Team and trial of alternative triage process.

The Community Rehabilitation Team (CRT) provides intermediate care and rehabilitation to individuals unable to leave their homes or who do not meet referral criteria for specialist services. Therapists are generalists whose specialism is managing complexity.

Current practice required all clinical staff (B4 and above) to triage referrals for suitability, and to assign appropriate referrals to immediate action (within 5 days) or a waiting list (up to 18 weeks), according to clinical need. This decision was commonly made directly from information contained within the referral.  

Staff expressed anxiety and frustration with the process, and an inability to affect change or provide support to colleagues. Referrals from traditionally hierarchical superiors could be challenging, especially when declining inappropriate referrals, with concern that this may affect future commissioning.  

This audit of physiotherapy referrals, aimed to classify our caseload through collection of quantitative data, and to trial an alternative triage process.

NICE Guidance and Quality Standard Assurance Evaluation: a process redesign to improve effectiveness and efficiency.

NICE assurances processes which evaluate local clinical practice and services against NICE guidance, quality standards and interventions are important clinical effectiveness and quality improvement strategies. Trusts are required to undertake a local NICE assurance process and results of evaluations are reported centrally.

The aim of this project was to develop a more efficient, robust and meaningful approach to our NICE assurance process across our complex, multi-professional clinical division. Our division has over 30 different clinical services in acute and community settings across East Sussex. The objective was to create a single, unified and responsive approach across all our uni- and multi-professional services.

Reducing emergency admissions for primary constipation: a pilot study to cut costs in an acute hospital trust.

Constipation is a common condition that impacts quality of life, often causing psychological distress and incurring considerable healthcare costs in terms of unnecessary emergency admissions due to poor management.

Aintree University Hospital offers one of the only Specialist Physiotherapy led healthy bowel clinics (HBC) in the UK that assess, treat and manage patients presenting with functional bowel problems, including constipation. Patients referred into the service are directed straight to HBC and the majority will never see a medic. The service is run solely by Physiotherapists. We can refer for appropriate tests (transit marker studies, defecating proctograms, anorectal physiology and various blood tests). We independently interpret results and decide on appropriate treatment/management. Our service offers specialist assessment, medication management, lifestyle advice, pelvic floor re-education, Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation, rectal irrigation and cognitive behavioural therapy. The majority of our patients are managed conservatively as surgery is rarely an option.

From December 2013 to November 2014, Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data showed that 301 patients were admitted to Aintree University Hospital with a primary diagnosis of constipation, 216 of these through the Accident and Emergency Department (AED), with an average length of stay of 3.3 days. The HBC Physiotherapists recognised that there should be a more cost-effective, efficient way to manage these patients and proposed a new pathway. The pathway allows patients to manage their symptoms in their own home with support from specialist Physiotherapists, enhancing patient dignity. Assessment identified 5 patients with potential red flag symptoms and allowed appropriate onward referral.

A project evaluating integration of a physiotherapy assistant practitioner into consultant led falls clinic and the effect on referrals.

72% of Community Rehabilitation Team (CRT) referrals are generated outside of our NHS Trust. External referrers have no access to our electronic records, and the complexity of local therapy services mean that duplicate and repeat referrals are common. Previous work also highlighted the 'yes' effect of individuals attending outpatient clinics, who consented to onward CRT referrals, but subsequently declined intervention.

This 'Plan, Do, Study, Act' (PDSA) project aimed to evaluate a new way of working to manage both issues. The project was undertaken in a neighbouring trust Consultant Led Falls Clinic (CLFC), identified as high referrer to our service.

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