Case studies

Quality assured examples of successful initiatives promote physiotherapy as an innovative and cost effective approach to improving patient pathways and promoting public health.

We welcome examples from all aspects of physiotherapy practice, research, education, and service delivery. Initiatives need to have been operational for more than 12 months to be included.

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Following Intensive Therapy Group (FIT) group

A conditioning class for those who have been in intensive care provides a group-support environment for recovery through activity and advice.

People who experience intensive care stays, whether pre-planned or following crisis, experience deconditioning beyond the average fallout from illness.

Community Respiratory Team

The Community Respiratory Team supports patients living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in their own homes.  They work with patients to improve self-management of their condition, enabling activity and enhanced quality of life when living with this long term condition. 

The project has resulted in shorter hospital stays, due to home based rehabilitation for COPD patients.

Grampian Home Oxygen Service

A new service was established in 2011 to manage Home Oxygen across Grampian. The multi-professional team provides all home oxygen (except for paediatric and cluster headache) based on a clinical need and risk management approach, and liaises with secondary and primary care. The revised service has demonstrated monthly cost improvements of £15 – 20k per month.

GP MSK Pilot

A pilot for direct access to Physiotherapy was initiated in December 2015 after agreeing the needs and specification of the service with Darlington CCG

A Student Supervised Neurological Physiotherapy Clinic

In October 2015 I started an optional Student Supervised Physiotherapy clinic for neurologically impaired patients. The primary aim of the clinic is to provide an experiential learning environment for Levels 5 and 6 students. The secondary aim of the clinic is to provide an assessment, review and treatment to local service users experiencing neurological problems and who are seeking further/alternate physiotherapy within a learning environment. The clinic is the first dedicated student supervised neurological physiotherapy clinic in the UK that we are aware of.

Physiotherapy First; Direct Access Physiotherapy Service

In West Cheshire, 36 GP practices host a physiotherapy service providing first contact by a MSK physiotherapist for any patient with a suspected MSK condition.

The initial three month pilot saw 754 patients, discharging over 50% with advice and exercises. One third were referred on for physiotherapy intervention and only 3% were referred for specialist assessment.

The service received a 99% feedback of good or excellent and freed up the GPs while saving money.

The 1st Line Physiotherapy Service

A one-year project to evaluate the impact of a primary care physiotherapy MSK service. The evidence suggests up to 30% of a GP’s caseload could consist of musculoskeletal (MSK) related problems (Margham, 2010), which physiotherapists are ideally placed to manage.

Development of Botulinum Toxin-A service in Fife, Scotland

I wanted to highlight the cost savings gained following a review and change of service delivery to children with focal spasticity in a district general hospital.  The purpose of the review and change was to improve the service we provided to children and their families in terms of timeliness on intervention, proximity to home and follow-up with known clinicians. 

Although the data is from 2014, we continue to inject less that 10% of our children under a general anaesthetic compared to 78% in 2009.

This service is led and delivered by a physiotherapist working in an extended role – initially Clinical Specialist, now Advanced Physiotherapy Practitioner with support from Orthopaedic and Neurology consultants.

The Musculoskeletal Clinical Assessment Service (MCAS)

The Musculoskeletal Clinical Assessment Service (MCAS) in West Glamorgan, provides a first contact service for patients with musculoskeletal (MSK) problems. It offers more effective management of MSK patients, with the view to streamlining patients referred into secondary care from primary care, and to reducing consultant waiting times for surgery.

The service has increased the orthopaedic conversion rate from 15% to over 80% and has decreased the wait for appointment for urgent cases from 6 weeks to 2 weeks. T