Rehab Gets Heard!
Yesterday I was given the task of taking a member of the commissioning board out on some house calls. Remember, there are two boards here in the NHS; one is for clinical governance and the other for the commissioning of services. The commissioners decide who gets the business and they negotiate and purchase services from the different health care trusts. It is rather important to make a favorable impression.
This board member was a lay member of the board; someone without a current clinical position. I think it is interesting to send board members out with staff to see what goes on. They want to see that they are getting value for their money and patients are happy.
We saw two clients, both needing chest physio, but different techniques were required by each of them. The clients raved about our services, while the practical evidence of improved oxygen saturation levels after treatment and improved activity tolerance demonstrated efficacy of the treatments provided.
The board member had many questions for me about how I got referrals, how easy or difficult it was to interact with the consultants (specialists) at the hospital (remember, the hospitals are run by a different trust) and how well the nurses have adapted to my presence in their midst. I responded tactfully (yes, I can do that on occasion!) but honestly. I also remarked about what I believed to be the excellent quality of care the nurses on my team provide and some of the difficulty I'd had with doctors regarding their lack of interest in feedback provided on their patients.
Today I got a copy of the report she sent to the rest of the board. She praised the clinical excellence, adaptation of the nursing staff to having a PT in their midst and the satisfaction of the clients. She recommended that for the trust to move into the future, they needed to update their information technology (I couldn't open the original report with Word 2003 on my PC), as well as continue to build on the interdisciplinary approach and away from nurse-centric philosophies. Lastly, she demanded that doctors treat the physiotherapists with the respect and professionalism they deserved.
It is nice to be heard and respected by those on the board.