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Physiotherapy-led lymphoedema service wins innovation category at Wales health awards ceremony

Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Melanie Thomas and Marie Gabe-Walters won an award for excellence in rehabilitation


Physiotherapist Melanie Thomas and colleague Marie Gabe-Walters won an award for excellence in rehabilitation earlier today (26 November) at the Advancing Healthcare Awards Wales 2021.

Melanie is the national clinical lead and Marie Gabe-Walters is the national research and innovation lymphoedema specialist with Lymphoedema Wales, which is based at the Cimla Health and Social Care Centre in Neath.

Phenomenally impressed. The creation and use of PROMS ensures the focus on what matters to the person. The PROMS are used digitally to prioritise the critical problems requiring resolution [judges' comment]

The project that caught the judges’ eye was an online patient platform that was used to collect patient reported outcome measures (PROMs).

The judges said: ‘Phenomenally impressed. The creation and use of PROMS ensures the focus on what matters to the person. The PROMS are used digitally to prioritise the critical problems requiring resolution.’

A statement about the innovation appears in a ‘winners’ guide’ that showcases the winning entrants. See: https://ahawards.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/AHA-Wales-Winners-2021.pdf

This notes: ‘Lymphoedema usually affects the arms and legs, but can occur elsewhere in the body, impacting on physical, mental and social health. The aim is to drive quality and efficiency, guide care and support services to manage their caseloads.

‘The original paper-based PROM was reviewed by patients and therapists across Wales to ensure it is relevant, clear and comprehensive. From this, LYMPROM© was created to capture what matters to patients. The pandemic expedited the digital revolution, using a web-based platform to enable patients to complete their LYMPROM© at a time and place that suits.’

To find out more, email: Melanie.J.Thomas@wales.nhs.uk and marie.gabe-walters@wales.nhs.uk

Commendation for two other physios

Two other physiotherapists were highly commended in the same category of the awards, which did not take place last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

They are advanced practice physiotherapist Rhian Jenkins and clinical lead physiotherapist Robert Goldsmith from the acute radicular pain pathway team, which is based at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

Their statement said: ‘People with acute sciatica experience severe and unpredictable pain. They struggle to work, sleep, do physiotherapy exercises, and a quarter contemplate suicide.

‘They struggle to access spinal injections quickly enough to assist rehabilitation, taking about two years to arrange an MRI scan, review the results and see a consultant radiologist for a spinal injection.

‘Rhian championed the set-up and evaluation of a multidisciplinary fast-track pathway for imaging and injection to support rehabilitation.’

For more information, email: rhian.jenkins2@wales.nhs.uk and Robert.goldsmith@wales.nhs.uk

To see PhysioUpdate’s article about two other physiotherapists and a physiotherapy technical instructor whose applications made it through to the final round of the awards, visit: https://www.physioupdate.co.uk/on-the-move/two-physiotherapists-take-joint-step-nearer-to-winning-advancing-healthcare-awards-wales-2021/

The following organisations sponsored the awards

Health Education and Improvement Wales

Welsh Government Health and Care Research Wales

Attend Anywhere/ Induction Healthcare

Blue Prism

Public Health Wales

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