Clinical practice/service delivery

Referral from primary care musculoskeletal services to Accident and Emergency for suspected cauda equine syndrome

Cauda equine syndrome (CES) is a medical emergency, requiring immediate referral for investigation and early surgical decompression for a favourable outcome (1). Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust (SHFT) musculoskeletal services manage suspected CES with immediate referral to accident and emergency (A&E) at the University of Southampton NHS Trust (UHS) where urgent imaging and surgical decompression can take place.

This evaluation aimed to describe the demographics and clinical features of referred patients, plus summarise the medical management and clinical outcome following A&E examination.

Exploring hospital and physiotherapy length of stay following thoracic surgery

The number of thoracic surgical procedures performed in the United Kingdom continues to increase annually putting pressure on thoracic surgical bed capacity. Reducing hospital length of stay (LOS) following thoracic surgery can help to reduce pressure on hospital beds. The purpose of this service evaluation is to explore hospital and physiotherapy LOS for individuals following thoracic surgery at our hospital and identify whether any factors influence hospital and Physiotherapy LOS. The findings could potentially allow the identification of individuals at risk of longer LOS and help direct physiotherapy rehabilitation provision to these individuals.

A musculoskeletal single point of referral in primary care

A single point of referral was implemented in partnership between Allied Health Professionals Suffolk (AHPS) and Norfolk Community Health and Care (NCHC) forming the Integrated Therapy Partnership (ITP). This aimed to standardise the care pathways for musculoskeletal conditions and ensure primary care referrals are processed to the correct provider first time around. This should avoid unnecessary secondary care referrals, where patients are seen in secondary care, receive no treatment and are referred back to community providers. Referrals are triaged by senior physiotherapists. Similar models have been suggested as effective methods of service delivery by the British Orthopaedic Association (Lennox & Karstad, 2013). This was coupled with the implementation of online self-referral for physiotherapy and occupational therapy, where patients were issued advice and exercise within 24 hours. Advice and exercise are issued for patients triaged for physiotherapy through the single point of referral. AHPs are responsible all patient administrative tasks and provide the triaging clinicians. NCHC provide clinical physiotherapy, occupational therapy and orthopaedic triage services. This is contracted to the Norwich and South Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group and they set key performance indicators for patients being seen. Routine patients to be seen in 28 working days, urgent patients to be seen in 7 days and orthopaedic triage patients to be seen in 14 working days.

Using ANGEL taxonomy to triage referrals in Ceredigion community physiotherapy

To evaluate whether service improvements could be made to our community physiotherapy service through clinical streaming of patient referrals using underlying principles complexity science to consistently deploy the most appropriate member of the physiotherapy team to meet the needs of patients and improve the effectiveness of our service.

Physiotherapy Supported Discharge Service following knee arthroplasty

An audit on length of stay (LOS) for total knee replacement (TKR) patients following surgery highlighted that a number of patients were exceeding their predicted date of discharge (PDD), many due to not achieving traditional physiotherapy goals (90⁰ flexion, < 5 ° extension lack and good quadriceps function), despite being safely mobile and medically fit. This exposes patients to risk of harm due to prolonged stay within an acute hospital environment as well as inefficient utilisation of an in-patient bed. A Physiotherapy Supported Discharge Service (PSDS) had previously been piloted for six months. Phase 2 consisted of permanent service resign, continuing the PSDS and service evaluation.

Oxygen and Non-Invasive Ventilation Pathways in an Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a genetically inherited condition affecting more than 10,000 people in the United Kingdom. A progressive cycle of infection and lung damage occurs. Worsening lung function results in hypoventilation and ultimately leads to respiratory failure that may require supplementary oxygen and/or mechanical support such as Non-Invasive Ventilation (NIV). Guidelines support the use of NIV for nocturnal hypoventilation, hypercapnic respiratory failure and as a bridge to transplant. At the time of development, there were no published guidelines on the use of oxygen therapy in CF and no published pathways on the set up and management of supplementary oxygen or NIV in CF. This special interest report documents the development of separate oxygen and NIV pathways through interdisciplinary working in an adult CF centre.

Objective To develop pathways for supplementary oxygen and the set up and management of NIV in an adult CF centre.

Trial of diagnostic ultrasound in the orthopaedic setting

Historically, provision of MSK Ultrasound diagnostics has been via a referral to Radiology. However, there is increasing evidence that assessment, investigation and initiating treatment at the initial appointment is shown to be cost-effective, increasing patient satisfaction. Utilising this approach also reduces repeated hospital visits for further diagnostics and appointment times for results. The aim of using Point of Care (POC) ultrasound is to enhance the patient experience through instant access to diagnosis, timely implementation of most appropriate clinical pathway and achievement of the optimal outcome in the shortest possible time.

This study aims to investigate the benefits of point of care (POC) and schedule ultrasound clinics using a proof of concepts approach in the orthopaedic setting.

Implementation of a new goal-planning process in an intermediate neuro-rehabilitation unit

It was recognised that this neuro-rehabilitation unit had a long length of stay for patients. This summary demonstrates how a new goal planning process was implemented on the unit. The aims of this new process were to reduce length of stay to the national average of 80 days, reduce the waiting list to 1 week, to consistently achieve greater than 70% patient and family/carer satisfaction and to ensure no adverse impact on the FIM/FAM outcome measure as a result of implementing the new process.

Stroke rehabilitation quality improvement plan

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust (OHFT) committed to a Stroke Quality Improvement (QI) Project to enhance the quality of rehabilitation for patients on the Oxfordshire Stroke Pathway. Following poor performance in the national indicators Sentinel Stroke National Audit Program (SSNAP) and local Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), the Stroke Quality meeting was initiated by the physiotherapy team to review care and develop a multi-professional improvement plan. Aligning service provision with that recommended in the 2016 Royal College of Physicians National Stroke Guidelines required consolidation of two stroke units, 14 miles apart, into one specialist stroke rehabilitation ward. This abstract outlines key objectives of the QI project, describe progress to date, and evaluates the impact on quality delivery and patient outcomes so far. The objective is to share positive experiences and challenges encountered during the project.

Management of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) clients in their own homes

A service for clients with MND was developed over the past 5 years within VCRS to allow this group of service users easy access to the multidisciplinary team (MDT) throughout the duration of their illness.

We are interested in improving the coordination, communication and care of patients with MND, from diagnosis to end of life, supported by NICE (2016) and MNDA guidelines. We developed individual speciality pathways to encourage prudent healthcare and bridged links in service provision to reduce individual therapy visits, duplication of referrals and assessments and ineffective communication within VCRS and the wider MDT.

The purpose of the service evaluation was to examine if the current service provision actually meets the needs of the service users and their families. We also wanted to identify areas which require further improvement.

We are keen to share this piece of work to demonstrate how existing practices can be altered in order to provide a more prudent and equitable service to this group of clients.

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