Occupational Health Physiotherapy Service for Staff is making a difference at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals.

Since 1st May this year, Ashford and St Peter’s have been running a new physiotherapy service specifically for staff. The new service, run in conjunction with the Trust’s Occupational Health department, offers staff members easy access to assessment and treatment. This includes a weekly drop-in clinic, which gives hospital employees the opportunity to take responsibility for their own health without having to take time off work.

The new service, devised and run by Jonathan Sheppard, a Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist, is part of a year’s trial until May 2012, and as well as offering a clear benefit to staff the service is also aimed at helping to reduce staff sickness levels. Since its introduction, there has been a 32% reduction in full days lost due to musculoskeletal disorders, with 57% of staff taking advantage of the service able to stay working rather than taking sick leave.

Jonathan explains more: “It is not that common to have a physio working as part of the Occupational Health team, but so far this has proved really worthwhile. One positive is the ability to link in with other services provided by Occupational Health to help people return to work more quickly.” Jonathan adds, “I have seen a wide variety of staff from all areas of the organisation and the feedback I’ve received has been extremely positive. The Trust has been very supportive in the implementation of this project.”

Pip Watson, Quality Team Administrator at Ashford and St Peter’s, has used this service several times and comments: “I can’t thank Occupational Health and Jonathan enough for the first class physio service they provide to staff. It’s not just one session – and thanks for attending – but ongoing appointments if and when as necessary…” Pip continues, “Excellent free advice given to control/ease body complaints, which helps to keep staff at work! Thank you.”

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