Therapy team win national recognition for rehabilitation services

Walking with crutchesStaff in the therapy services department at Southampton’s teaching hospitals have been nationally recognised for transforming patient rehabilitation.

Teams in physiotherapy and occupational therapy at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust received the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s Demonstrating the impact of outcomes on patient care award at an event in London this week.

Alongside helping patients with movement ability and independence in hospital, therapists regularly undertake clinical effectiveness projects to discuss new ideas, identify areas in need of improvement and advance clinical practice. 

As a result, a scheme to introduce early mobilisation for respiratory patients to get them out of bed and sat up to clear their chests saw improved oxygen levels for 81% of patients with uncomplicated pneumonia and 78% with more complicated forms of the illness.

In intensive care, therapists reported barriers to rehabilitation due to high levels of sedation which led to a review of medication and weaning processes and, in appropriate patients, therapy staff are now involved up to eight days earlier.

Meanwhile, in outpatients, a survey of more than 1,000 patients helped redesign the service, reduce non-attendance by 6% and cut waiting times by 12 weeks.

“It is a great achievement to put Southampton on the map and have our work recognised nationally and I am so proud of everything our team has achieved,” said Dr Lisa Roberts, a consultant physiotherapist at Southampton General Hospital.

“Our commitment to clinical effectiveness has resulted in regular national and international conference presentations and academic publications and, last year, 20% of performance audits within UHS were led by staff from therapy services. 

“Overall, this has led to better access to care, better outcomes, improved patient experience and demonstrates the team is at the forefront of the latest innovations in our area of work.”

In addition to the award for patient care, the physiotherapy team was named runner-up in the overall Physiotherapy service of the year category.

Martin Stephens, associate medical director for clinical effectiveness at UHS, added: “From changes to the way they work with patients on the wards, to auditing performance and publishing research papers, our therapy staff are constantly looking at ways to further develop and improve their services – they are a credit to the Trust."

Posted on Thursday 29 November 2012