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.
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.
Service evaluation of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament Deficient Induction Clinic (ACLD) and Rehabilitation Class.
Historically, at GSTFT, patients with ACL pathology have been managed in weekly exercise classes. Anecdotally, Physiotherapists felt that they were unable to effectively manage both the post-operative and ACL deficient (ACLD) populations due to high class numbers. After an internal service evaluation and audit, a unique ACLD pathway was established to separate the ACLD population, and better manage both ACL cohorts. This included a specific fortnightly ACLD Induction Clinic and ACLD rehabilitation class.
This data collection aimed to:
- Evaluate the demand for the ACLD pathway, including the new ACLD rehabilitation class, and analyse patient demographics
- Ensure the ACLD pathway is utilised correctly, by monitoring patients being referred
- Start analyzing the data and trends of patient attendance and onward management in the ACLD rehabilitation class and begin early root cause analysis.
- Commence a systematic review around the quality of pre-operative physiotherapy intervention and how this effects outcomes post-operatively, in order to guide the temporality and content of our ACLD rehabilitation class.
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.
Effects of a Multi-Disciplinary Physical and Psychological Programme on Kinesiophobia, Self-Efficacy and Functionality in Persistent Low Back Pain Service Users
Persistent Low Back Pain (PLBP) is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Disability and costs attributed to PLBP are projected to increase in coming decades (Hartvigsen et al, 2018). Research has now established that for people with PLBP, their cognitions and coping mechanisms play a bigger role in the progression from acute to persistent pain than physical features (Wertli et al, 2014). Clinical guidance (NICE, 2016) recommends that service users (SUs) who are not responding to routine management or have significant psychosocial obstacles to recovery, should be considered for a combined physical and psychological programme (CPPP). However, there are no clear current guidelines on the best format for a CPPP. The Back in Action (BiA) programme was introduced to address the needs of these SUs. This service evaluation aims to assess the effectiveness of the BiA 58 hour multi-disciplinary CPPP format on SUs pain related cognitions and function.
Spinal Triage by Extended Scope Physiotherapists in a diagnostic interface clinic: Spinal unit conversion rates from a 12-month service evaluation.
The Back and Neck Service (BaNS) was established in Suffolk (2003) as an interface clinic with the aim of reducing unnecessary referrals into the secondary care Spinal unit for surgical opinion. Since this time the service has expanded and now consists of six Extended Scope Physiotherapists (ESP) across the East (BaNS-East) and West (BaNS-West) localities. Importantly, the BaNS is embedded within a wider spinal pathway spanning both primary and secondary care which allows timely self-referral to musculoskeletal physiotherapy via a Single Point of Access (SPOA) portal. Patients with radiating symptoms failing to improve at 6-weeks, or those with axial symptoms that have failed appropriate management can be referred into the BaNS by their treating physiotherapist or via their General Practitioner. Following assessment and, where indicated, investigation(s), suitable cases are reviewed with a spinal consultant at a weekly meeting where appropriate patients can be directly referred into the secondary care spinal unit. The purpose of this service evaluation was to establish the effectiveness of the BaNS in triaging patients with axial and/or radiating symptoms into secondary care and to report the conversion rate to surgically led interventions (nerve root block injections & surgery). A secondary aim was to establish patient satisfaction with the service.
The use of a nursing HCA to work as part of the MDT in critical care, working across professional boundaries.
The purpose of this project was to evaluate the role of the nursing HCA as part of the critical care multi professional rehabilitation team, with the express purpose of boosting rehabilitation during periods when there was no therapies services, and to fully embed the ethos of 24/7 hour rehabilitation into the critical care culture.
The foot surgery service was expanded in order to undertake more complex foot surgeries, this required an increase in physiotherapy input. Adaptations were made to our provision of physiotherapy to accommodate patients undergoing complex foot surgeries, patients with multiple co-morbidities and patients with complex social needs. This incorporated developing a robust protocol-led pathway including pre-op education and assessment with the aims of increasing attendance of our pre-op assessments “Foot School” and reducing length of stay (LOS).
Replacing a Retiring Consultant Rheumatologist with an Appropriately Skilled Consultant Physiotherapist.
The role of the Advanced Practice Physiotherapist (APP) has been well established in our Rheumatology team for more than 10 years. However, following the semi-retirement of one of the medical consultants there has been an option to pilot Consultant-level Physiotherapy input to the Rheumatology team. This process of using allied health professionals to replace medics has been called “Practitioner Substitution” and is seen as an important part of improving care and patient outcomes whilst delivering the efficiencies the NHS needs. The aims of the pilot Consultant post were: to independently manage and streamline the pathway for the non-inflammatory / pain service in Rheumatology, to reduce wait times and to ensure a more inflammatory-heavy caseload for the remaining Rheumatology medical team.
Redesigning a Rural Physiotherapy Service’s Documentation Audit Process: Improving Quality whilst Promoting Honest & Meaningful Conversations
The aim of this project is to capture the experiences of staff using a new documentation audit tool and to explore if embedding the audit process in to quarterly, one-to-one reviews improves quality and leads to further discussion related to professional matters and staff wellbeing.