The findings of a study conducted at the Bellfield Centre in Stirling by a redeployed member of staff during Covid-19 have been accepted for publishing by the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists (BAPO). The survey was carried out by orthotist Francesca Muratore who worked there during lockdown as a therapy assistant practitioner (TAP) as part of the ReACH rehabilitation team, which was combined with her substantive role as orthotist for inpatients.
Using questionnaires, and comparing results in 2019 with 2020, she noted that waiting times to be fitted with an orthosis were being reduced significantly whilst she was working as a member of the ReACH team. This helped patients on their recovery journey achieve their goals and quality of life more quickly. It was also observed that multi-disciplinary working with joint sessions allowed the team to resolve problems, prevent falls and promote the independence of patients.
The overall conclusion was that rather than visiting patients on request, having an orthotist as a member of the multidisciplinary team had a tangible impact on patient care, most notably faster prescription of orthoses leading to speedier rehabilitation as well as a positive impact on the knowledge and skills of other team members.
- Quick easy access to an orthotist, both formally and informally to check situations
- It has been a huge advantage having an orthotist working as part of the Inpatient Team at the Bellfield Centre
- Have found huge benefit for our patients and our own learning and development to joint working and good working relationships.
- I have learnt about different types of braces and how to put them on correctly.
- My donning of splints has improved.
- She was able to give profession-specific advice re inpatients and this not only improved patient care in a timely manner but supported other AHP staff in their appliance knowledge too.
- When staff members were not able to move between wards due to patients on wards being diagnosed with Covid-19 we were able to take pictures of splint fitting and get direct advice from the orthotist for correct fitting of appliances.