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Therapy intervention for patients during and after ECMO reach final ten for HSJ value award
Press release date07/06/2019
Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists at Leicester’s Hospitals reached the Clinical Support Services Award final ten in the HSJ (Health Services Journal) Value Awards. The awards recognise excellent use of resources, and also seek out examples of demonstrable improvement in outcomes, both within back office functions and clinical initiatives.
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Clinical Services ECMO team photo
Press release

The nomination is for the work carried out by a Therapy Service at Leicester’s Hospitals. The service launched a pilot in October 2017 and is dedicated for the rehabilitation of Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) patients. ECMO is used when a patient has a critical condition which prevents the lungs or heart from working normally. Glenfield Hospital is one of only five centres commissioned for (ECMO) in the United Kingdom.

The Therapy Service based within the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) therapy team at Glenfield Hospital includes three Therapy Support Workers who work across Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy. They are supported by the Critical Care Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist and Critical Care Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist.

Laura Breach, Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist at Leicester’s Hospitals said: “We are pleased that our work has been recognised nationally by the HSJ.

“Prior to this project, therapy input was chest Physiotherapy, passive movements, and limited Occupational therapy. We have now introduced interventions such as in-bed cycling using state-of-the-art bed-pedals, sitting out of bed and walking, as well as psychological support such as anxiety management and cognitive stimulation.

“We are seeing real improvements for ECMO patients when they leave ICU. For example in 2016/17 most patients were lying in bed and receiving passive movements. In 2018/19 patients were, on average, able to march on the spot at their bedside. In addition, they have a shorter stay on ICU as well as a better physical function and psychological status to aid further recovery and potentially reduce readmission.

"We know that it’s better for patients and their families if they are cared for closer to home; this therapy intervention is helping to get patients back to their local hospital more quickly.”

Based on the service outputs so far the prediction is that patient flow would improve as the length of stay reduces. The Therapy service supports ECMO patients through comprehensive assessment and individualised rehabilitation plans. The therapists provide early assessment, rehabilitation and teach coping strategies to maximise function and to normalise the patient experience. All are vital to decreasing the length of stay in hospital, reducing on-going symptoms and improve the patient’s quality of life on discharge.

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Kimberleigh Salt
0116 258 8644
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