The National Spinal Injuries Centre (NSIC) at Stoke Mandeville Hospital is up for a national healthcare excellence award.
The famous spinal injury practice has been nominated for the Acute Sector Innovation of the Year at the 2021 HSJ Awards.
Specifically, the centre has been shortlisted for its Phoenix Upper Limb Studio, which officially opened in May.
The HSJ Awards is described as the largest benchmarking and recognition programme for the health sector. The awards are designed to showcase excellence within the sector.
The Upper Limb Studio is used for Activity Based Restorative Therapy (ABRT), which involves the use of equipment to facilitate repetitive movement to improve a patient’s level of independence following spinal cord injury.
A spokesperson for the Bucks NHS Trust outlined some of the work done at the studio, saying: "Working within a therapeutic framework, the occupational therapy team within the National Spinal Injuries Centre has demonstrated the positive impact of ABRT rehabilitation.
" [As well as] the overall impact on functional tasks such as feeding, drinking, return to driving, carrying out aspects of personal care, and returning to work."
The trust advises that the occupational therapy team has continued to develop relationships and collaborations with commercial companies, organisations, academic institutions and charities to create equipment prototypes and concepts.
David Smith MBE, a two-time world champion and Paralympic Gold Medallist, who underwent rehabilitation at Stoke Mandeville said: "The OT upper limb group was amazing. Not only did it provide me and the others in the group with a challenging programme of rehab, it gave me an enjoyable place to work hard, laugh and enjoy life all at the same time.
"This is crucial when going through such a massive change in life following a spinal cord injury. I was challenged every day with a combination of rehab approaches and established a great relationship with the staff and fellow patients which made the rehab process so much easier."
The upper limb team beat out competition from over 1,000 different entrants to get shortlisted. The judging panel includes: Sir Bruce Keogh (Chair, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s FT); Marie Gabriel CBE (Chair, NHS Race and Health Observatory); and former HSJ Trust of the Year winners Ann Marr OBE (Chief Executive, St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals Trust) and Richard Mitchell (Chief Executive, Sherwood Forest Hospitals FT).
Ruth Peachment, Occupational Therapy clinical specialist at the NSIC added: “I’m so proud that all the hard work by the occupational therapy team has not only realised our aim of an upper limb studio but also helped to demonstrate that we continually strive on a daily basis to make sure we have the best facilities and most innovative programmes to
support our patients.
"It’s timely that at the start of the Tokyo Paralympic Games the upper limb studio has been recognised by being shortlisted for an Acute Sector Innovation award.”
The full list of nominees for HSJ awards is available online here.