It was an honour to welcome Suzanne Rastrick, Chief Allied Health Professions Officer at NHS England to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. Suzanne was invited to speak at the launch of the new Therapies Strategy at the Trust, as well as sit on our Dragon’s Den style panel, which awarded funding to Therapies staff for their innovative ideas to improve patient care and experience at our hospitals.

Our special call for therapists launched in December, to coincide with the 2019 Therapies Strategy launch. We encouraged project applications from therapists which promoted innovation, transformation and new service development, improve patient care and experience, support staff in the delivery of front line care or support staff wellbeing. The three shortlisted projects were pitched to the panel which included Suzanne, along with James Varley (CW+ Finance Director), Christina Richards (Head of Therapies) and Pippa Nightingale (Chief Nurse).

The three finalists and their projects were:

STEPS: Stepping to Enhance Patients’ Success
Applicants: Alasdair Gibson, Emma Murton and the Stroke Therapists Team
Project Summary: STEPS is a therapist-led initiative to increase patient mobilisation on the stroke wards. By providing pedometers to patients, therapists will be able to set individualised target steps and healthy competition between patients will be encouraged through the use of a leaderboard. This will lead to more social interaction and engagement of family members, addressing anxiety and low mood.

Waiting Room Update – promoting a healthy lifestyle 
Applicants: Lynne O’Hanlon, Emily Hatcher, Jennifer Sand, Dilaver Dilaver, Victoria Hopley and Georgina Newton
Project Summary: Health promotion is a very important part of the physiotherapy service at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. The team will use the waiting room to inform patients of local services and simple changes that could make a significant difference to their health. As part of the project, the waiting room will also be updated and a water fountain will be introduced, which patients can access before or after their sessions.

Foot and Ankle Tendinopathy Clinic
Applicants: Sian MacRae, Grace Crook, Georgina Newton
Project Summary: This project will implement a physiotherapy-led Foot and Ankle Tendinopathy Clinic to deliver evidence-based, best-practice, non-surgical treatment to elective orthopaedic Foot and Ankle patients. With the current care pathway, the timings of interventions may be months apart and thus may not deliver optimal clinical outcomes for patients. This new clinic will run alongside an Orthopaedic F&A clinic, providing Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy and a self-management exercise programme, delivered by a physiotherapist with highly specialised knowledge in tendinopathy management.

This special funding call was part of the CW+ grants programme which awards funding to hospital staff for innovative projects to support the delivery of healthcare and improve healthcare outcomes. We are delighted to announce that all three shortlisted projects will receive funding to make these innovative ideas a reality at Chelsea and Westminster.