London

Telephone-based triage and diagnostic accuracy of spinal pathologies

Advanced Level Physiotherapy (ALP) is a term used to describe a level of practice for a physiotherapist to be working at. It includes utilising a combination of advanced skills, knowledge and clinical reasoning to successfully and safely manage patients, recognising where a clinical presentation is outside an individual's scope, and taking appropriate action. Utilising advanced clinical reasoning and making appropriate radiology referrals enables physiotherapists to exclude serious pathology and determine the appropriate pathway for a patient. Being able to safely triage and direct patients to conservative management or escalate to an orthopaedic review where suitable is the cornerstone of a clinically-effective service, and highlights the benefits of having experienced physiotherapists on hand to guide patients appropriately. Many studies have looked at whether the diagnostic accuracy of physiotherapists is comparable to orthopaedic consultants, but the diagnostic accuracy of a telephone based ALP triage service has not previously been investigated. The aim of this study was to audit the diagnostic accuracy of radiology investigations performed for spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacroiliac) by a telephone based ALP triage service.

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.

Working with complex persistent pain

To describe the role of an Advanced Physiotherapy Practitioner (APP) working within a multidisciplinary team with people with complex persistent pain in acute hospital, outpatient and community settings.

To describe relevant physiotherapy skills required in these settings

To describe the clinical outcomes of the service

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