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RehabilitationAug 5, 2022

Physio Jo Haworth talks about a book on complex rehab, written by a team based at the Walton centre

Clinical specialist physiotherapist Jo Haworth is rightly proud of her contribution to a book – titled A Practical Approach to Interdisciplinary Complex Rehabilitation – that was published earlier this year.

‘The book has only recently been published so its impact cannot truly be assessed until a later date, but it is already evident as referenced citations in reports and assignments,’ she told PhysioUpdate.

Jo played a key role in the planning and writing team – all of whom are based at the specialist Walton Centre in Fazakerley, on the outskirts of Liverpool – from the outset.

‘It was an exciting idea, but it was daunting in terms of the work that would be involved and in terms of what we might have to offer the process. It was a steep learning curve and a very different style of writing to any previous work that I have been involved in.'

Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Walton Centre staff collaborated in writing a new book


Contributing from the onset

Jo notes: 'I was one of the co-writers of the first chapter in the book, which focuses on introducing the concepts of complex rehabilitation to the reader. The book aims to facilitate a deeper understanding in its readers surrounding the various presentations seen in complex rehabilitation and give an in-depth overview of the specific problems.

'It should be a great addition to the reading lists of any team that works in rehabilitation or even wants to pick out specific elements relevant to them.'

What makes the Walton Centre special?

The Walton Centre is a specialist trust and, as a result, the staff are highly skilled and dedicated to their patients, Jo says. ‘Beyond this, the complexity of the patients we treat requires multiple different professionals all working together towards common goals – and we do this very well. The team ethos is therefore very strong and evident in all aspects of patient care.'

What drew Jo into the field? ‘I have been a physiotherapist for 31 years and rotated through all the core areas before I decided that I wanted to specialise in the care of patients with neurological deficits and complex rehabilitation needs. I have now specialised in this field for the last 22 years.

‘Physiotherapy is all about working out what is causing movement issues whether within a single joint or within the whole body. It is then about offering therapy to help alleviate those issues – which might pain, weakness, stiffness, initiation problems, timing problems, balance or coordination problems. These treatments involve lots of different techniques and need some hard work from the patients and their support networks, but they can help with lots of issues.’

The book aims to facilitate a deeper understanding in its readers surrounding the various presentations seen in complex rehabilitation and give an in-depth overview of the specific problems. It should be a great addition to reading lists [Jo Haworth]

How does Jo keep up to date?

‘My role has changed a lot over the years. When I started, we very much directed patients in terms of what they should and shouldn’t be doing which meant they were very reliant on information from us. Now we try to make sure the patient is on charge of the own care and recovery. We continue to give expert advice and interventions as needed but also empower the patients to consider their own goals, to take control of their own care and to question what is in their individualised best interests.'

Part of a unique rehabilitation network

The Walton Centre is part of the Cheshire and Merseyside Rehabilitation Network – the first of its kind in England. Jo explains that this provides a collaborative partnership across specialist rehabilitation at inpatient units, outpatients and community services. ‘Our mission is to work collaboratively to provide specialist rehabilitation care, underpinned by evidence-based practice, research, innovation and education to optimise outcomes of patients from Cheshire and Merseyside,’ Jo says.

‘Two of the rehabilitation units managed by the Cheshire and Merseyside Rehabilitation Network are directly hosted at the Walton Centre so there is a very strong relationship between them,’ she notes.

‘The Walton Centre and the Cheshire and Merseyside Rehabilitation Network are both dynamic places to work with the focus always on both improving patient care and staff satisfaction. Projects and service developments are continually being supported and actioned. Services themselves are often expanding and evolving so there are always opportunities to be had,’ she adds.

The book, titled A Practical Approach to Interdisciplinary Complex Rehabilitation, is edited by Cara Pelser, Helen Banks and Ganesh Bavikatte. For more information, visit: https://www.elsevier.com/books/a-practical-approach-to-interdisciplinary-complex-rehabilitation/pelser/978-0-7020-8276-4

Cara Pelser is a clinical psychologist and one of the book’s editors. She said: 'The book demonstrates the hard work and sheer dedication of NHS staff who, during a pandemic, have continued to successfully collaborate to develop and produce a piece of work everyone should be proud of.’

The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust is the only hospital trust in the UK specialising in neurology, neurosurgery and pain services. Most patients come from Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales, Lancashire and the Isle of Man, but, for some specialist treatments of complex disorders, staff see patients from all parts of the country, who are referred by their GPs or other neurologists, neurosurgeons and pain clinicians.

 For more information about the Walton Centre, visit: www.thewaltoncentre.nhs.uk

Author: Edited by Ian A McMillan
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