National praise for hand therapy team

A new team of therapists at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has won national recognition for the development of a one-stop-shop service for patients who have had orthopaedic operations on their hands.

Over the past 18 months, a team of four Occupational Therapists (OTs) have developed a new multidisciplinary service that offers 200 to 300 patients a month a comprehensive and high-quality service.

The Hand Therapy team work alongside orthopaedic surgeons in joint clinics to provide pre and post-operative assessment, advice, education, splinting, exercise and treatment programmes for all orthopaedic patients who have had hand operations.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital's Hand Therapy team has won national recognition after being shortlisted in the finals of the national Allied Health Professional and Health Scientists awards.

Hand therapy service team leader Debbie Larson said: “It was great to get some recognition for the work we have been doing. We operate an open door policy so that if a patient needs the services of any of the clinical disciplines they can get it immediately. The key to our success is having the therapy and surgical teams working closely together and the feedback from our patients has been very positive.”

Hand surgery is needed for conditions such as Dupuytren’s, a benign condition that leads to thickening and shortening of the connective tissue in the palm of the hand. It is a common condition that is gradually progressive and often needs surgery. More men than women are affected with Dupuytren’s contracture. It occurs most often in later life and affects around one in six men over 65 in the UK.

Patient Gordon Rowley, 69, of Welborne, near Dereham, has Dupuytren's and has recently experienced the N&N's orthopaedic hand service. “I thought the service was brilliant, I really could not fault it. I know a lot of people complain about the NHS but the service was first-rate.”

Tuesday 6th of December 2005 09:00:44 AM