Real Lives: Digital care record wins physio team top award

The East and Midlothian Pulmonary Rehabilitation Team
The East and Midlothian Pulmonary Rehabilitation Team
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Members of a local physiotherapy team have been presented with a national award in recognition of their work delivering health services in the area.

The East and Midlothian Pulmonary Rehabilitation Team, part of East and Midlothian Community Health Partnership (CHP), picked up the Improving Quality accolade at the Advancing Healthcare Awards.

The team delivers pulmonary rehabilitation for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (or breathing problems) via video conferencing, running simultaneous classes in two locations at one time.

Amanda Stears, specialist physiotherapist at East and Midlothian CHP, said: “We have been delivering our pulmonary rehabilitation solely through digital means for the past two years and the results have been great. We have had excellent feedback from patients and staff and the results have been extremely encouraging.

“We are now moving to phase two of our project where we are trailing the delivery of pulmonary rehabilitation directly into patients’ homes.

“Patients are equipped with a specially-designed phone with a screen and matched up with a physiotherapist who supports them as they practise exercises.

“Winning this award is as much in recognition of the patients’ efforts as it is for all of the staff and I would like to commend them for all of their hard work.”

“The team was also shortlisted at last year’s awards for their pioneering work in delivering pulmonary rehabilitation and they are delighted that it has resulted in them winning this award. This represents a culmination of two years of hard work,” said Morag Barrow, allied health professional manager at East and Midlothian CHP. “I am delighted that the team have been recognised in this way.

“Winning this award highlights just what can be achieved by embracing the use of new technologies in delivering healthcare. The use of this type of innovative, digital technology can increase the number of patients we treat, not just in the one area but across different areas at the same time.”

David Small, general manager at East and Midlothian CHP, added: “This is great news for the team and is a testament to all their efforts in delivering this pioneering service.

“We are now starting to see the real benefits telehealth and telecare are bringing to patients. Telehealth has the potential to improve the quality of life for so many patients and we are continually looking at ways of incorporating it in our services.”