Airedale team create one stop clinic for children with cerebral palsy

Posted on August 17, 2020 by AireAdmin

Staff at Airedale Hospital have held their first one stop clinic for children with cerebral palsy, and it’s been a success with parents and patients.  Six children were seen in the first clinic by a team of professionals, who came up with the idea because of the difficulties affecting clinics during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cerebral palsy is the name for a group of lifelong conditions that affect movement and co-ordination.  It is caused by a problem with the brain that develops before, during or soon after birth. 

Children with the condition would usually have to attend the hospital multiple times to see different professionals so the team decided to create a one stop service with the children seeing a consultant paediatrician, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, orthotist, nurse and radiographers, all at one appointment.

The team held their first posture and mobility clinic and combined this with the annual Cerebral Palsy Integrated Pathway UK (CPIP) assessment, which monitors areas of tightness and musculoskeletal changes to reduce the risk of hip dislocation. The children also had their hip x-rays completed on the day too.

Ann Colleran-Welsh, physiotherapist at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust says:

“At this one stop clinic when the child comes in they have had their x-ray, we do our assessment as therapists and then the consultant comes in and discusses what we’ve found and any other issues the child is having with their posture or mobility and then a plan is made.  Our parents were overwhelmingly positive about the experience because they only have to come to one hospital appointment.” 

Ann continues:

“They can come now for a clear appointment reason with a very clear outcome at the end where they are able to discuss their issues but also have a plan of action after it.  It also means parents don’t have to repeat themselves. They have multiple professionals there at the same time so if they have a query for a particular service like orthotics, we are all there and we can get it sorted out for them.  So there is confidence in the team and confidence in the communication and the multi-disciplinary team working.” 

One patient and family who have seen the benefits are 7 year old Louis Hale and his mum Caroline from Long Preston. 

Caroline says:

“From our point of view it was really good because we have always seen people separately and you feel like at each appointment time has passed and things have changed slightly and then you are updating the person you are in front of as to what was discussed at the previous appointment and if you’d got any questions that overlapped between them there is no-one there to ask at that moment.  To have a meeting where everyone is there who is looking at him as a whole and how all the different areas can work together to get the best approach was brilliant, we were so impressed.  It was very holistic and felt very Louis-centred and really positive.” 

The next clinic is scheduled to take place at the end of August.