Our inpatient unit has had physiotherapy skills for over 10 years, however, we wanted to expand our services from 4.5 days to a seven day service, to assist the rehabilitation of our patients, to promote independence and to enable patients to increase confidence leading to reduced length of stay and facilitating safer discharges.
An opportunity arose from the departure of our OT to review the clinical team make-up of our inpatient team and the services they can provide. Our health care assistants (who hold an NVQ3 in care) wanted to develop themselves and learn new skills, so we developed the NVQ3 rotation programme in partnership with our physiotherapist. A three-month rotation is offered in which the staff learn new skills around assessment of mobility, choice and use of equipment, rehabilitation exercises, facilitate an exercise group and undertake a prescribed exercise regime. The rotation covers the inpatient unit and day therapy suite to develop the skill set of the staff. During the programme the staff have a comprehensive workbook to complete which tests their understanding and skill set.
All of our NVQ3 staff have completed the rotation, enabling joint partnerships with our physiotherapist, patients and families. The physiotherapist provides a detailed management plan that our NVQ3 assistants can invoke; this has moved the service over to seven days and has facilitated greater understanding, enhanced assessments, joint working externally to enable our physiotherapist to develop relationships with community occupational therapist, greater access and reduced waiting times.
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