Celebrating AHP Day 2020 - Get to know our Allied Health Professionals

Date: 14 October 2020

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Allied Health Professions (AHPs) day is a grass root opportunity for AHPs to come together and celebrate being part of the AHP family. AHPs Day is a social movement to enable AHPs to collaborate within services, organisations and regions. Find out more about the various AHPs who work across Medway Maritime Hospital.

Speech & Language Therapy – Katherine Liversedge, S&L Therapist

Where are you based in the hospital?

We work across all the adult wards with specialist clinics in the ENT department.

How big is the team?

We are a small team of 5 staff, some of whom also work jointly with the community SLT team.

Which other AHPs do you work with?

Our work is integrated with Dietitians, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapy and Radiographers.

Can you describe what you do?

We provide assessment, treatment, support and advice for patients (and their families) who have difficulties with communication and swallowing.  We also work with a wide range of patients including those with progressive and non-progressive neurological disorders, cancer patients, elderly care patients and patients with respiratory disorders.  The team provides specialist clinics in voice and swallowing eg Videofluoroscopy and FEES (Fibreoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of the Swallow).

Further reading:  https://www.rcslt.org/speech-and-language-therapy

 

Dietetics – Kallum Butler-Rhule, Early Assessment Dietitian

Where are you based in the hospital?

Front Door (A&E, assessment wards and short stay).

 How big is the team?

We are 12 altogether.

Which other AHPs do you work with?

Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Speech and Language Therapists.

Can you describe what you do?

We provide nutritional assessments, diagnosis and interventions to patients.  Personally, I act as an advocate for good nutrition in the hospital and provide advice to the MDT (Multi-Disciplinary Team) around the treatment of diseases that have a nutritional element to their care.

Further reading:  https://www.bda.uk.com/about-dietetics.html

  

Dietetics – Emma Gaskin, Specialist Senior Critical Care Dietitian

Where are you based in the hospital?

I am part of the Nutrition & Dietetic Team, however I specialise in Critical Care and work on the Intensive Care and High Dependency Units.

How big is the team?

The Critical Care Teams are big departments with many multi-disciplinary professionals. During COVID we have come together even more which been so rewarding.

Which other AHPs do you work with?

Speech & Language Therapists, Pharmacists, Aseptic technicians, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Radiographers

Can you describe what you do?

Most of the patients I see are artifically fed via an enteral feeding tube to the gut or intravenous nutrition. I manage the different phases of metabolism during critical illness, troubleshoot gastro-intestional intolerance, manage biochemical and fluid issues and provide further specialist support to conditions such as inherited metabolic conditions, surgery, pancreatic issues, malabsorption, and wound healing. During the later stages of their stay we focus on rehabilitation, often an area overlooked for nutrition. 

 

 

Apprenticeship Programme - Richard Boswell, Therapy Assistant

Where are you based in the hospital?

We are based in the Therapy department but mainly ward-based during working hours.

How big is the team?

The overall team is around 50 colleagues.  I am currently on the Orthopaedics team which has 11 members of staff.

Which other AHPs do you work with?

We work predominantly with the Occupational Therapists but also may refer to Dietitians, SALT & Orthotists.

Can you describe what you do?

I am in my first of the four-year Physiotherapy Apprenticeship through University of Greenwich. My role as a Therapy Assistant is to assist the Qualified Physiotherapists/Occupational Therapists with day-to-day management of ward caseloads, provision of exercise to patients, assessment of new patients and discharge planning, equipment provision and other ad-hoc tasks as they arise.

Further information:  lucy.mason13@nhs.net

 

Orthotics – John McLaughlin, Orthotic Specialty Lead

Where are you based in the hospital?

Level 2, purple zone. We are the smallest clinical team in the hospital but community facing.

How big is the team?

6 people – a practitioner, Orthotist and three administrative staff.

Which other AHPs do you work with?

Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech & Language, Community District Nurses and MCH Podiatrists on the ward. In addition to providing Orthotic equipment to patients here at Medway, we supply to wards at Sheppey and Sittingbourne hospitals, ICCH, ICMPH, Virgin and MTW, with Physios fitting each item to the patient.

Can you describe what you do?

I manage the service which covers a number of duties- collaborating with clinicians, advising on new equipment - last week alone we handed out 370 devices! I clinically evaluate new products using an approved scoring matrix, arrange clinical training for medical students, and give presentations to showcase our services here at Medway.  I also liaise with other AHPs to deliver creative therapy for people with reduced capacity across Kent and Medway, giving demos of new products we use.

Further reading:  https://www.medway.nhs.uk/services/orthotics.htm

 

Orthodontics – Dawn Shirvill, Senior Dental Nurse

Where are you based in the hospital?

In the Green zone, Area 6 next to ENT who we often work alongside.

How big is the team?

We are 13 nurses, 7 clinicians (Orthodontists and dental nurses), 2 administrators, 2 dental lab technicians.

Which other AHPs do you work with?

We work with community dental nurses, a community dentist and also in partnership with Kings from an imaging perspective for specialist CT scans. Queen Victoria Hospital is another partner with whom we liaise on jaw surgery.

Can you describe what you do?

We work rotas, assisting in orthodontist clinics by preparing instruments for clinicians, ensuring everything is in place and assisting with four-handed dentistry.  We also teach oral hygiene, run the records clinics, take moulds of patients’ teeth and photos for x-ray.

Further reading:  https://www.medway.nhs.uk/services/orthodontics.htm

 

Radiography – Lorraine Becconsall, Head of Imaging

Where are you based in the hospital?

We are in the Red Zone Level 2, near Nuclear Medicine, Osteoporosis, Breast Unit, CT and plain X-ray, MRI and Ultrasound.

How big is the team?

Overall we are over 250 including Radiographers and Radiologists, Assistant Practitioners, Sonographers, Imaging Nurses, Technologists and Physicist, Mammographers .  We reach 99% of incoming patients to the hospital who each need scans of various kinds.

Which other AHPs do you work with?

All those above within the care group, and in addition Podiatrists from the Community Assessment Service.

Can you describe what you do?

As a Radiographer, we are responsible for high-quality diagnostic images for prompt and accurate diagnosis. For example we’re on the wards for chest x-rays and theatre for Orthopaedic  patients, with a higher caseload during COVID.  While I am clinical I also oversee teams and am responsible for business cases, finances and cost improvement projects. We’re excited to be putting in place a career progression program across teams, training staff to report x-ray images, speeding up the process and taking the pressure off Radiologists, who interpret the images.

Further reading:  https://www.rcr.ac.uk/  /  https://www.sor.org/about-radiography/what-radiography-who-are-radiographers

 

 

Occupational Therapy – Ellis Bowden, Acute Frailty OT and Team Lead

Where are you based in the hospital?

In the Frailty Unit and Elderly care wards, soon to be Emerald Frailty Unit in November!

How big is the team?

The Elderly Care team consists of 9 staff including Occupational Therapists, Therapy Assistants and Physiotherapists.

Which other AHPs do you work with?

Dietitians, Speech & Language Therapists, and a team of Specialist Nurses including Respiratory and Tissue Viability, Frailty, Falls and Dementia Nurses.

Can you describe what you do?

We assess and enable Frailty patients in hospital to promote and regain independence in their daily activities. We assess and provide equipment or recommend care to promote a speedy but safe discharge, and work with our community partners to ensure good continuity of care. One lesser known part of the role is family liaison, co-ordinating communication to provide loved ones with therapy updates, reassurance, emotional support, and sometimes conflict resolution!

Further reading:  https://www.rcot.co.uk/about-occupational-therapy/what-is-occupational-therapy

 

Physiotherapy– Julia Earle, Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist in Amputee Rehabilitation

Where are you based in the hospital?

In the Frailty Unit and Elderly care wards, the Disablement Service Centre on-site, working alongside the MMH prosthetic team.

How big is the team?

The MDT (Multi -Disciplinary Team) is made up of around 30 people.  The DSC is part of the forensic service of KMPT, with many patients referred from MMH.

Which other AHPs do you work with?

We work closely with our Prosthetists, see Stacey’s response.

Can you describe what you do?

The majority of amputee patients are quite elderly and frail, and coming in for vascular and diabetic-associated problems.  One group of patients we see are our primary patients. We assess them for suitability for prosthetics along with the MDT.  The other group is outpatients who come in for Physiotherapy, are learning how to use a new prosthesis or need to progress their mobility.  I also see patients with prosthetics, solving problems following a fall or if they feel unsure on their feet due to loss of confidence or MSK conditions.  Another side of the role is providing assessment and training for micro-processor knees, which are computer-controlled prosthetic knees that are appropriate for some patients.

Further reading:  https://bacpar.csp.org.uk/content/bacpar-resources-non-specialist-therapists-managing-individuals-who-have-limb-loss-or-limb

Prosthetics – Stacey Care, Prosthetist & Moving & Handling Link Assessor

Where are you based in the hospital?

In the Disablement Service Centre on-site, working alongside the MMH Physiotherapy team and KMPT colleagues.

How big is the team?

We are about 30 AHPs.

Which other AHPs do you work with?

We work with prosthetists, an OT, 2 Physios, rehab engineers from Kings, 2 consultants, a clinical psychologist, technicians and clinical technicians and a nurse. We are a living example of integrated working!

Can you describe what you do?

We make both upper and lower artificial limbs, and adjust these over time as the needs of the patient change, usually due to weight loss. We take plaster casts, make sockets on-site and spend time ensuring each item manufactured is carefully adjusted, as every case is different.  We also replace prosthetic limbs, especially in children who are reviewed every 3 months.

 

Physiotherapy – Sarah Bernasko, Physiotherapist

Where are you based in the hospital?

In the Frailty Unit and Medical Team, across 5 wards.

How big is the team?

There are 10 in the team.

Which other AHPs do you work with?

Occupational Therapists, Dietitians, SALT, Podiatrists and Tissue Viability.

Can you describe what you do?

There is no typical day but each one starts with ward round. We prioritise patients using the RAG system and in the Medical team, we see a range of patients whose daily activities have been compromised by medical conditions, drugs, alcohol and more recently, deconditioning as a result of COVID. The majority of work is getting patients back to what they did before coming in, and a lot of the time this involves re-building confidence in their own ability. Another big but perhaps unexpected part of the role is treating MSK and respiratory conditions in ICU, using a cough assist to clear sputum from patients’ lungs.

Further reading:  https://www.csp.org.uk/professional-clinical

  • Summary:

    Allied Health Professions (AHPs) day is a grass root opportunity for AHPs to come together and celebrate being part of the AHP family. AHPs Day is a social movement to enable AHPs to collaborate within services, organisations and regions. Find out more about the various AHPs who work across Medway Maritime Hospital.