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Physiotherapy-led clinic improving patient care

Isabelle Karen Curved Feet
Media Release
Posted 24 May 2021

A physiotherapy-led clinic at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital is fast tracking the care provided to young orthopaedic patients, resulting in earlier assessment and treatment.

A physiotherapy-led clinic at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital is fast tracking the care provided to young orthopaedic patients, resulting in earlier assessment and treatment.

Women’s and Children Health Network (WCHN), Senior Orthopaedic Physiotherapist, Karen Schubert, said the Physiotherapy Led Orthopaedic Clinic (PLOC) is drastically improving patient pathways.

“Before the clinic was established, all patients referred with a musculoskeletal problem needed to be seen by an Orthopaedic Surgeon for their initial appointment, even though many were unlikely to require surgery. This resulted in long delays in the high demand service,” Ms Schubert said.

“Under this model of care, patients appropriate to be seen by an experienced Physiotherapist are triaged to the PLOC for assessment and management. This helps to create more efficient patient journeys, and ensures children and infants receive the care they need with minimal delay.

“Patients, who previously had to wait up to several years to be seen, are now being booked in for an appointment within weeks. This means that patients who require physiotherapy or other treatments can start these treatments earlier and the reduced load on the orthopaedic surgery clinic allows surgeons to assess other new patients in a timely manner.”

Since the start of the year, 55 per cent of the patients seen in the PLOC have been assessed and discharged with no follow-up required, 40 per cent have been linked in with ongoing Physiotherapy services, and only five per cent have required further input from an Orthopaedic Surgeon.

WCHN Chief Executive Officer, Lindsey Gough, said since being formally established in 2014, the clinic has proven to reduce wait times while maintaining high levels of consumer satisfaction.

“Providing safe and high-quality care to South Australian women, babies, children, young people and their families is our highest priority,” Ms Gough said.

“This clinic offers early comprehensive assessment and coordinated, patient-centred care within a multidisciplinary framework which provides the best possible care for our patients.”

The PLOC is available to patients at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital two days per week. A GP referral is required to access the service.