Implementing a 24 hour postural management service

88 - Sarah BrownI’m Sarah Brown, the wheelchair service manager at Hounslow Wheelchair Service.

We identified and responded to a problem identified through our special seating clinics, which are run by a clinical specialist. Through the expertise and by really listening to our service users, we identified a gap in provision of night-time positioning aids within our area. As we are already doing the posture assessments for the special seating, we felt we were well placed to be able to fill this gap and provide a service offering 24 hour posture management.

We put a bid together for Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare Trust’s Dragon’s Den style competition for funding, which we won. We are currently implementing a pilot study to gather some evidence about our local population and how this provision will impact on them. We aim to develop a pathway and to add the provision of sleep systems alongside our special seating service.

We were nominated and short listed for an HSJ award for Compassion in Care. We didn’t win, but due to the recognition from the HSJ we have full support from the Trust in implementing a twenty four hour postural management service. Where we’re up to at the moment is that we have commitment from our finance director and from the trust board that they will continue to fund this project for another year to help us to roll this out to reach more people.

The preliminary evidence that we have gathered from service users is quite compelling and we have an example of a service user who was waking hourly from discomfort, her parents had to support her and realign her positioning during the night. The service user was a thirteen year old girl, and this had been going on for as many years for this family. As a direct result of the sleep system, and for the first time in this child’s life, she’s now sleeping through the night and the family is transformed. Through being able to achieve a better night’s sleep, the child and her family are able to achieve better health and quality of life.

This type of provision will have a huge long-term implication in terms of preventing deformity and will achieve cost saving for the NHS, so we’re hoping to secure funding and roll this out. What we’d really like to do is to become a centre of excellence that looks at the whole 24 hour posture management provision for service users. This would create a one-stop-shop for service users with a clear, simple pathway and this will hopefully limit duplication of assessment and equipment. We can really provide a high quality service for our service users with a good outcome for them.
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