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AwardsSep 29, 2023

Physios in Cornwall help to 'future proof' the design and delivery of older people's services

A physiotherapist working for Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is part of a multidisciplinary Ageing Well Development Team which has been shortlisted in the Care of Older People category at the 2023 Nursing Times Awards. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on 25 October.

Mike Poulding injects a physiotherapy perspective into the trust’s Ageing Well Education and Coaching Programme, with additional educational delivery from fellow physio Alex Gorree-Werry from the falls service.

With a background that includes reablement and rehabilitation, Michael is one of the expert clinicians in the team who are supporting clinicians to develop their skills and knowledge in responding to complex health needs. 

Mike told PhysioUpdate: ‘As a physiotherapist it has been a fantastic opportunity to develop in an alternative clinical role to the traditional routes, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey so far. Our team shares a range of specialties and experiences that complement each other well, and together we offer a dynamic, holistic approach to our education and coaching programme.’ 

 He adds: 'It is a privilege to facilitate the future-proofing of our workforce and the ability to support the ever-increasing complexity in our communities.'

Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Mike and the Ageing Well Development Team are in the mix for a Nursing Times award

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Patients are 'more complex' today

Clinical lead for frailty and ageing well Marie Prior explains: ‘The programme is trying to meet the changing needs in community healthcare, which have changed hugely over the last 20 years. Patients are more complex. If you are over 65 you are more likely to have three long-term conditions than one.

‘The intention of the programme is to increase the confidence and skills of existing clinicians to meet the needs of patients in health crisis or who have multiple long-term conditions, working alongside a range of health professionals. 

Marie said a key aim is to help clinicians to become more confident in identifying opportunities for movement and activity and developing plans for reablement and reconditioning, in order to optimise the individual's health and longevity. ‘It is a collaborative model of multidisciplinary working and mutual learning.’

She believes the team is doing pioneering work by offering trust staff five face-to-face training days, which help to boost their knowledge and confidence. This is backed up by individual coaching from the clinical facilitators and means they can gain a competency portfolio.

Marie adds: ‘This coaching model reflects our multidisciplinary approach and is supported by programme support manager Sue Blake. She has invested time and commitment in enabling us to coordinate and deliver the programme and in developing an online portfolio which is live and accessible both to the individual student and their clinical facilitator.’

Our team shares a range of specialties and experiences that complement each other well, and together we offer a dynamic, holistic approach to our education and coaching programme [Mike Poulding]

'Spreading the word'

Sue Blake hopes that the exposure that accompanies being shortlisted for the award will help to spread the word about the programme. ‘It can be quite easily picked up by a range of organisations – including health and social care, voluntary and community sectors. Its potential is huge, and we wanted to have the opportunity to share that on a national programme.’

‘It is a privilege to facilitate the future-proofing of our workforce and the ability to support the ever-increasing complexity in our communities,' Sue adds.

To find out more about the trust’s programme, click 

Author: Ian A McMillan
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