Dedicated Physiotherapy Service Supports Staff To Remain Healthy

A dedicated physiotherapy service is supporting community NHS staff to remain healthy, prevent injury and keep staff at work in Lincolnshire.

A new £5 million health and wellbeing initiative was announced by NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens, for NHS Staff on September 2, at the NHS Innovation Expo in Manchester, and will focus on promoting physical activity, improving diets and reducing stress.

Public Health England estimates that the cost of staff absence due to ill-health in the NHS is approximately £2.4 billion each year, or roughly £1 in every 40 spent by the NHS.

Running since February 2015, Physio for You, is an occupational health musculoskeletal (MSK) physiotherapy service at Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS). The service works proactively with staff to provide early intervention for MSK conditions, preventing injury to keep staff at work and helps plan for individuals to safely return to work if they have been absent. MSK conditions can include any injury, disease or problem relating to muscles, bones or joints which can be a common problem due to the nature of the work carried out by health professionals and supporting staff not only on the frontline.

In May 2014 the absences related to MSK lost days were reported at 20.7 per cent of the overall absence total. Navroz Amlani, clinical Physiotherapy Specialist and Occupational Health Physiotherapist at LCHS, said: "We are leading the way here in Lincolnshire with this innovative service. It not only supports the health and wellbeing of individual staff members, but in turn their wider team and the patients we care for. "Every member of staff has a valuable role to play in the success of our organisation, by providing a wealth of skills and knowledge that cannot be easily replaced or reproduced if they become sick or injured. Delivering safe effective patient care is a primary principle of LCHS - this service enables us to utilise our most valuable resource efficiently knowing the correct staff, with the most appropriate, developed skills are in work, healthy and able to provide the high quality and safe healthcare to the patients we serve. "This service forms part of a comprehensive program and is assisting in driving down the sickness rate, improving skill retention and increasing morale, directly resulting in the raising of care standards delivered."

In the year 2012/13 the total cost of all directly reported MSK type sickness absence for LCHS was £466,359. Of this, £229,020 was for back related problems and £237, 339 for other MSK problems.

Clinics have been held at the trust headquarter's at Bridge House in Sleaford, John Coupland Hospital, Louth County Hospital, Skegness hospital, Johnson Community Hospital, Newland and North Hykeham Health Clinics, and Greetwell House and Fen Lane community bases in Lincoln.

The service has been recognised nationally for its success and was among the finalists in the MSK Care category of the Patient Safety Awards 2015.
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