Patient outcomes

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.

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.

Does Patients' Perception of Improvement following a Pain Management Programme, Match Reported Minimally Clinically Important Differences?

Clinical outcomes for patients attending a pain management programme were evaluated to determine whether patients who rated an improvement on a Global Impression of Change Score, achieved mean changes in BPI that were consistent with 'acceptable' change, and to determine mean changes on other outcomes in this population. It is suggested that a mean change of 2.09 in pain interference, as measured by the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI), could be considered acceptable to patients. Currently data is unavailable for changes in pain acceptance.

Collaborative cross-agency service delivery to address public health issues within an MSK setting: evaluation of ´Healthy Mind, Health Body´

Patients accessing Physiotherapy in Blackburn demonstrate multiple co-morbidities, physical and biopsychosocial issues. This unique, cost-effective, collaborative service redesign addresses the specific co-existing health issues and behaviours associated with MSK conditions in Blackburn and offers a cost-effective, high quality solution to empower and support the MSK population to better manage their own health and well-being in alignment with Public Health England priorities.

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.

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.

Effectiveness and optimal dosage of resistance training for chronic neck pain: a systematic review with a qualitative synthesis and meta-analysis

Ranked 4th for global disability neck pain is experienced by up to 50% of the population annually and is more common than low back pain in office-based workers. Clinical guidelines recommend multimodal physiotherapy that includes resistance training exercise (RET) for the neck and shoulders. Although RET programmes exist with different objective and physical outcomes (e.g. cervical isometrics, craniocervical flexor retraining etc.) no evidence synthesis has compared their effectiveness. Equally, despite being highly cited the dosage (repetitions, frequency, load) of RET varies considerably between studies. The aim of this study is 

1) to evaluate the effectiveness of RET in chronic non-specific neck pain (CNSNP)

2) to determine an optimal dosage.

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