• joannaward3

Responding to changing needs

Like many small businesses, for us 2019 came to an end and 2020 started with no real changes to our business activities or wild expectations for the year ahead. It was not in our plan to develop and implement the number of service changes as we have done in the last few weeks. What have we been up to?

We have a wonderful team of physiotherapists, an occupational therapist, personal trainer, some physiotherapy assistants and an amazing business administrator who keeps us under control.

We are a growing team and many of you will have seen our 2019/20 winter advertisement looking for more highly skilled physio's with a keen interest in multi-condition rehabilitation to join our community team.

As February and March 2020 progressed it soon became apparent our "business as usual" was going to change. The Coronavirus outbreak was going to impact on the safety of our service for both those who use it and work within it. For these reasons, we were very early to adopt our professional guidance and the government steer to complete risk assessments for all our activities and clinical visits. We continually review these risk assessments to ensure we are correctly balancing the complexities of the evolving situation. For example, we need to ensure infection prevention, social distancing and shielding the most vulnerable while ensuring we do not cause a short-term increased demand on the NHS and care services or a long-term loss of independence and quality of life by stopping rehabilitation at a point when optimal change could happen.

What about all the new clients who will unfortunately have new rehabilitation needs for reasons beyond Covid-19, as well as those who are coming home after a hospital stay with Covid-19?

Our clinical work continues as we see some people at home while ensuring the correct PPE and infection control guidance is being implemented. Others are seen via video consultations.

Jayne has set up a very popular Tele-Neuro rehab group.

Each evening, we sit down in our homes with most of the country to listen to the UK government coronavirus briefings. Our team WhatsApp group gets busy too because the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy also emails out their daily briefing with professional guidance for us all. This is often an update of PPE requirements or some clinical updates. Much of this guidance is changing on a daily basis and impacts us as well as every other physiotherapist out there.

On a Thursday at 8pm from our homes, we join with everyone else to take a moment to think and thank the commitment and work undertaken by our key workers. We all have friends and colleagues in care homes, community services and acute services who are in our thoughts.

There have been a few moments over the last few weeks when we have received some sad news causing us to come together (virtually) as a team to pause and reflect. It is during these moments as an independent community therapist you appreciate working within a close and supportive team.

In general, we have been quite busy. Jayne and I have made a list of service development activities we have already implemented in the first 3 weeks. I think sometimes I need a little shake up to keep the momentum going. We have had cause to learn many new skills required as business owners during this time.

I thought I would end by sharing this list with you, just so that you know we haven't been idle!

  • Created a company Intranet

  • Updated our website

  • Set up a new Tele-rehab service

  • Implemented individual remote physiotherapy sessions via video calling

  • Set up a new and very popular Tele-Neuro rehab group

  • Reviewed our company finances and budgets

  • Kept visiting our most vulnerable clients using the appropriate PPE

  • Telephoned, emailed kept in touch with clients who are in quarantine and shielding on their own

  • Implemented weekly remote Tuesday Team Talks

  • Procured appropriate PPE

  • Updated ourselves with management of Covid-19 and the post acute care rehab needs

  • Supported JLinks team families to self-isolate and school their children at home

Best wishes, stay safe and keep your eye out for our next update of adventures!


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