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Community and mental health services for Southampton, Portsmouth and parts of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.


Leading the way in innovative care – Solent NHS Trust and Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust highly commended in national awards

Solent NHS Trust and Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust have been highly commended at this year’s HSJ Patient Safety Awards for making outstanding differences to patients with Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) – a condition affecting a person’s mobility and breathing.

Solent’s Hydrotherapy Service and Portsmouth’s Critical Care Team worked closely to create an aquatic therapy risk assessment tool so that GBS patients receiving critical care could be placed into the hydrotherapy pool, a gravity-controlled environment, to help them gain muscle movement/control earlier than otherwise possible.

At the virtual awards ceremony on 10 November, it was revealed that the work had been highly commended in the Clinical Governance & Risk Management category.

Dan Baylis, Chief Medical Officer at Solent NHS Trust, said: “Receiving ‘highly commended’ status importantly recognises not only the quality care our dedicated and skilled staff provide to our service users, but that our colleagues strive to discover new ways of delivering care no matter how complex patients’ needs are. We’re very proud of this collaboration with Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, and how the work has the potential to be rolled out in the wider NHS to improve the short and long-term recovery of Guillain-Barre patients.”

Susie Calvert, Senior Physiotherapist at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, said: “Being Highly Commended is a fantastic way to recognise the huge efforts that both the Portsmouth Hospitals and Solent multidisciplinary teams put into risk assessing and planning the hydrotherapy sessions. We hope this work will now inspire others to pursue innovative interventions in the face of resistance using the safety strategies that we employed to reassure others and minimise risk.”

Denmead resident, Paul Lacey, was one such GBS patient whose mobility has been transformed thanks to the pioneering work.

Read the judges’ praise for the project.

(Main photo was taken before Covid-19).

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