Spotlight on Sallyann Palmer, OT, and her work at Oakwood House

To support patient flow through the hospital last winter some of our patients were moved into residential care home beds whilst they became able enough to return home.

The project has now come to an end and has seen 31 patients being cared for by our colleagues at Oakwood House, a care home in Watton Road, Norwich.

Sallyann Palmer, Occupational Therapist, has worked at Oakwood from December to June; alongside her colleague Georgy Bemrose, they both supported patients’ rehabilitation.

“I worked at the care home two days a week to help our patient’s gain independence before being discharged home,” said Sallyann.

“It was a very positive experience as I had the opportunity to spend more time with the patients, doing functional assessments to increase their independence, than I normally would do at the hospital these days.

“I also used my OT skills more and met families to understand what type of support and equipment their relatives needed once at home.”

The majority of the patients who were moved to Oakwood House were elderly peoples who had been acutely unwell at the hospital and in need of further assessment, reablement and packages of care to help them be as independent as they could.

Our hospital ran a similar project in 2020, during the second wave of Covid-19, with St Michael’s Court in Aylsham – Sallyann and Georgy also helped on that occasion.

“Both projects helped the hospital better cope with patient flow during periods of extreme pressure. For me it was good to learn from some of the staff working in the care homes, working with other external agencies and multidisciplinary teams,” added Sallyann.

“For example, I used a new tool called ‘GaitSmart’: this is wearable technology that analyses somebody’s gait and prescribes exercises to help them improve muscular tone and improve mobility.

“I was trained to be able to complete the assessments and support the patients doing their exercises correctly.”

“Sallyann has been truly amazing and we are very sad that our collaboration is coming to an end,” said Helen Jackson, Home Manager at Oakwood.

“She has supported us here which has resulted in the whole team really developing our focus on supporting all residents to reach their rehab potential to remain independent and have an improved quality of life.”

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