Rehab physiotherapists make in-house videos to improve consistency in walking aid provision
Two specialist rehab physiotherapists at NHS Forth Valley have created what they think to be the first video-based learning resource in Scotland to ensure consistency in the provision of mobility aids by healthcare support workers (HCSWs).
Libby Simpson and Sara Thomson from the Rehabilitation Care Group developed the six-module ‘HCSW Mobility Aid Provision’ resource, which includes short in-house videos. It was launched on the online learning platform LearnPro NHS in August.
“The modules were developed for NHS Forth Valley but at our recent launch we had very keen interest from other health boards,” Libby told the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.
With funding from NHS Education for Scotland, the resource was developed in response to a need, which had been highlighted by a steering group, to standardise and improve the effectiveness of HCSWs in the provision of walking aids across the health board.
Libby and Sara decided that video would be the best choice after looking at other written approaches; they said that a visual approach would help to avoid misunderstandings.
Sara commented: “The innovative thing for us was to make the short in-house videos with the team.”
The modules have been designed to give HCSWs the skills and knowledge they need for their day-to-day tasks.
“Some staff will be picking up new skills and knowledge on conditions and factors that are important in the provision of a walking aid,” added Libby. “They are also designed to cover every eventuality, for example, when to use one or two walking sticks and what to think about before taking a patient outside.”
The modules cover the following topics: balance, walking aids, waking patterns, indoor mobility and outdoor mobility. Taking around 20 minutes to complete, each module includes an assessment and practical demonstration with a patient.
In addition, dedicated sign-off sheets show competency and HCSWs are supported throughout the programme by a physiotherapist mentor.
By sharing the resource on an online learning platform, the physiotherapists hope that it will have wider use across different services and settings. They are also planning on sharing the videos on YouTube to make them accessible to other staff and patients.
“We thought it would be good to create a learning resource that we could share on LearnPro so that every HCSW in NHS Forth Valley will have the same competencies and will be working to the same song sheet,” Libby explained.
“We also feel it will be really useful in community and social care settings and as it’s rolled out will help with standardisation.”
HCSW Mobility Aid Provision can be found on LearnPro under NHS FV: Mobility Aid Provision Modules.