Clinical practice/service delivery

Cancer recovery and a personalised exercise service: A preliminary analysis

Previously people with long term illnesses such as cancer were often advised by their clinical team to rest and reduce their physical activity. But recent research has shown that exercise is not only safe and possible during cancer treatment, it can also improve an individual's level of physical functioning, increase their strength and stamina, improve their quality of life and help them to return to work. Studies have also shown that exercise can reduce their mortality and the risk of recurrent types of cancer by approximately 50%. The aim of our evaluation study was to explore the efficacy of a physiotherapy led exercise programme for people living with and beyond cancer to improve their overall health and wellbeing and fitness levels.  

Early identification of respiratory impairment in motor neurone disease

Respiratory function significantly predicts both survival and quality of life in people with Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Early referral to specialist respiratory services at the onset of symptoms is vital to facilitate decisions regarding respiratory management. Effective management of respiratory symptoms is likely to have a positive impact on the quality of life of the person with MND. Objective measures of respiratory function allow clinicians and patients to self-monitor respiratory symptoms at home. A challenge of working within a multi-disciplinary (MDT) community neurological therapy team was the lack of easy to use, accessible, accurate objective measures of respiratory function. We describe the development of the team's MND respiratory assessment, which aimed to improve early identification of people with respiratory impairment. A further aim was to improve the referral pathway between the community team and its local sleep and ventilation service.

Health literacy profile of a Musculoskeletal population

This paper reports on the findings of the first phase of a service improvement project that used the Ophelia approach developed by Deakin University, Australia to evaluate the health literacy (HL) needs of adults attending outpatients musculoskeletal (MSK) physiotherapy.

Little is known of the impact that the social determinates of health have on the health literacy needs of patients presenting with musculoskeletal pathologies so the relationship with demographic data, including the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation (WIMD) was explored.

The aim of the first phase was to profile adults' health literacy attending outpatient MSK physiotherapy. Objectives included:

  1. to evaluate adults across nine domains of health literacy
  2. to establish whether there is a relationship with measures of deprivation. The results of profiling will inform the development of specific health literacy interventions and resources for the local population in future phases.

Class format to improve the management of total knee replacement in an out-patient setting

Historically patients at North Manchester General Hospital received traditional 1:1 Physiotherapy treatments post total knee replacement (TKR). Literature suggests a class environment can be more cost effective and yield improved results. Therefore a TKR class was set up in 2015. This summary highlights the findings from the first year demonstrating clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction and cost-effectiveness.

Physiotherapy-supported discharge in elective orthopaedics

Following total knee replacement (TKR), patients are not only required to be functionally and medically safe for discharge but also achieve set exercise goals before being allowed home. These set exercise goals are: · 90 degree knee flexion. · A straight leg raise with < 5 degree quadriceps lag. · Inner range quadriceps with < 5 degree quadriceps lag. These goals are set by the operating Consultants. A recent audit on length of stay (LOS) highlighted that out of 38 patients, 32 (84%) had exceeded their predicted date of discharge (PDD). Of these 32 patients, 19 (59%) had exceeded their PDD as a result of not achieving their exercise goals by this time, despite being deemed functionally and medically safe. Further audit over a 12 week period highlighted an additional 38 TKR patients remaining in hospital after being deemed functionally and medically safe in order to achieve the set exercise goals. This equated to 65 additional bed days over the 12 week period, approximately 5 additional bed days per week. With a standard overnight stay costing £400 per night, this equated to £26,000 over the 12 week period and therefore potentially £104,000 a year. It was suggested that providing a physiotherapy service to allow TKR patients to go home once functionally and medically safe but without achieving their exercise goals could facilitate discharge for these patients without compromising the quality of their care or outcomes

Cultural shift in the value of patient time

Time: Ours to organise, ours to spend and equally ours to waste- but what about when that control is taken. In a culture where our days are filled with loved ones, work and activity, we choose to balance our time across these. However, when you are admitted to an acute hospital, this aspect of choice is often taken away.

As physiotherapists one of our key roles in inpatient care is to improve and regain function to allow our patients to return to their home at their baseline level. By making simple changes- getting patients dressed into day clothes, walking to the toilet and sitting in a chair for meals there can be a clear correlation with the speed of a patient's rehabilitation.

Physiotherapy target measure for hip fracture

'Advancing Quality' (AQ) was launched in 2008 across all hospitals in the north west of England with the aim of improving patient outcomes and reducing costs (Advancing Quality Alliance 2016). In 2015 the management of hip fracture was added as a key clinical area for evaluation/improvement, and included the measure: 'HFR-07 - Physiotherapy assessment within 24 hours of surgery'. Our Trust audit department therefore started producing monthly data for AQ hip fracture targets, which initially revealed our compliance with the above physiotherapy measure to be at 78% (target set at 100%). The purpose of this project was therefore to improve the achievement of this measure. A Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) service improvement approach was chosen - as initially described by Deming (1986), and then later adapted specifically for use in healthcare by Langley et. al. (1996).

Grampian Home Oxygen Service

This project is an example of multiprofessional working that provides a safe service for patients whilst making cost savings. 

The 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.

A web based prescribing system has been introduced this year by the contractor which offers easy access to updated information relating to individual patients use of oxygen.

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