Patient outcomes

Medicines optimisation for the treatment of spasticity and neuropathic pain led by a Physiotherapist Independent Prescriber

The purpose of this project was to improve medicines optimisation for the management of patients with spasticity or neuropathic pain who attended multidisciplinary specialist neuro outpatient clinics at West Midlands Rehabilitation Centre. The secondary purpose was to identify how much input was required to optimise medication after a change in medication was advised and if this input could be adequately carried out by a Physiotherapist Independent Prescriber.

Historically the Consultant (prescriber) would review and make changes as required to a patient’s medication for managing their spasticity and neuropathic pain.  Patients could contact in case of concerns, however, there was usually no medication follow up initiated by the Consultant between clinic appointments. This was due to limitations on Consultant capacity. Time periods between clinic appointments for each patient could be between 3-12 months depending on the request of the Consultant. This meant that if there were issues with obtaining or taking the medication and the patient did not initiate contact, the issue would not be addressed until the patient returned to clinic.

NICE provides guidance that the prescriber should review the patient with regards to their medication after starting or altering a medication within a timely period. This is important as it ensures that patients receive the right choice of medication for them, at the right dose and right time to benefit their health.

Medication reviews following a face to face appointment do not necessitate a face to face appointment and telephone reviews can be completely adequate.  This is because patient achievement of goals of treatment with medication is primarily identified through subjective assessment. The standard in this project was set that all patients who required a medication change in clinic would be reviewed, on time via telephone consultation(s). The time at which the patient would be need to be reviewed would be dependent on the time period in which the prescriber advised the medication change to occur over.

Clinical Outcomes Review within a Musculoskeletal (MSK) Risk Stratified Model of Care

Measuring the clinical effectiveness of all healthcare services is a fundamental component of evaluating the impact care has on the service user. A community-based MSK physiotherapy service in Mid Essex has been using a validated and multi-dimensional outcome tool, the Musculoskeletal Health Questionnaire (MSK-HQ), since April 2017 to evaluate clinical effectiveness.

The service also recognised the importance of working in different ways to improve efficiency and matching treatments based on prognostic subgroups (stratified care) has been shown to be both clinically and cost-effective in the management of low back pain using the STarT Back Screening Tool.  However, risk stratified care for all MSK disorders is in its relative infancy, with the Keele STarT MSK Tool yet to be fully validated scientifically, although Keele University granted permission for the MSK physiotherapy service to use the tool for clinical purposes in April 2018. 

The service was therefore able to collect data from all appropriate MSK patients receiving treatment from April 2018 to March 2019 to evaluate whether good clinical outcomes and positive patient experience were demonstrated whilst delivering a more efficient risk-stratified care approach.

Functional Restoration Service

To provide group based, interdisciplinary, combined physical and psychological treatment (CPPP) service to patients with persistent non-specific back pain, to help restore function and quality of life. 

The service’s aim is to train patients to become experts at understanding their persistent low back pain, to manage flare-ups in pain effectively, to set goals to improve function, to reduce reliance on analgesic medication, and to engage in healthy behaviours

The service uses a cognitive behavioural approach, as recommended in the National Back Pain and Radicular Pain Pathway (Pathfinder) (2017) and NICE Guidelines (2016) as an effective way to manage persistent non-specific back pain and disability.

Multimorbidity Rehabilitation- The Sustainable Way Forward

Recognising that there is limited funding for “doing more of the same” we looked at how we could increase our cardiac rehabilitation capacity by broadening our scope and expertise to encompass a range of long term conditions that cause a high impact on unscheduled care. We acknowledged that multi-morbidity is becoming increasingly prevalent.

We subsequently developed The Healthy and Active Rehabilitation Programme (HARP) and opened up referrals to include people affected by stroke, cancer, COPD, falls, diabetes, and other long-term conditions.  HARP enabled us to widen our rehabilitation capacity to include cardiac groups which are typically excluded due to resource limitations: angina, arrhythmias and devices.  We designed a programme that would embrace activity, self management and support lifestyle change, across all of these groups.

Thus, the overall aim of this project was to proactively support prevention and self-management in an ageing population with increasing prevalence of chronic multiple morbidities. To help reduce health inequality the project has specifically targeted deprived and rural communities.

Secondary objectives 

  • To develop an evidence base for multimorbidity rehabilitation that would support a new way of working
  • To prove that this new model was sustainable

Student-Led Neurological Rehabilitation Group

Adults with long-term neurological conditions have low levels of participation in physical activities and report many barriers to exercise. This study used a mixed methods approach to evaluate participant experiences and outcomes following participation in student-led, community-based neurological groups and to explore the feasibility of performing a full-scale study.

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.

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.

Prescribed Only Medications (POMs) issued in a musculoskeletal physiotherapy primary care

Non-medical prescribing was introduced in the United Kingdom (UK) to improve healthcare service efficiency, access to medicines and support service innovation. From 2013, independent prescribing was extended to include physiotherapists. Patients are facing increasingly long waiting times to see their GPs, and delays getting medication to aid their musculoskeletal ailments. This report aims to explore patient satisfaction of this service in a primary care musculoskeletal physiotherapy setting. IPOPS started provision of independent prescribing during physiotherapy sessions by a single physiotherapy practitioner in March 2017.

Patient-reported outcome measures (PROM's) following Secondary Care NHS Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy

The aims of this report were:

  • to provide a large, transparent dataset from which other organisations can benchmark clinical outcomes
  • to provide the first documented large-scale musculoskeletal (MSK) physiotherapy outcomes evaluation using the MSK Health Questionnaire (MSK-HQ)
  • to compare clinical outcomes of MSK physiotherapy with NHS England average clinical outcomes associated with surgical procedures.

The Hierarchical Assessment of Balance and Mobility (HABAM) tool

Impaired mobility and balance correlate strongly with an individual's function and overall state of health. The Hierarchical Assessment of Balance and Mobility (HABAM) is a graphic and rapid assessment of balance and mobility originally designed for use within the hospitalised elderly. The measure has been used predominantly within frail elderly populations; however the aims of this study were to assess the utility of the HABAM to an elective orthopaedic population.

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