Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Climbing the Steps to Health

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Climbing the Steps to Health

Article excerpt

Byline: By Louise Redvers

Most people think physiotherapy is for people who twist their ankles but Louise Redvers went to Gateshead's Queen Elizabeth Hospital to see the bigger picture

Clutching her walking frame tightly, 85-year-old Rosemary Henderson began to take small steps.

Looking up at her physiotherapist, Lynne Dixon, she smiled and, laughing, said: "I'll be running soon like Zola Budd."

When Rosemary, from Low Fell, arrived at Queen Elizabeth Hospital earlier in the week she could barely move.

A painful shoulder, a few falls and poor circulation had slowed her down and now it's Lynne's job to get her moving again.

"It's all about giving Mrs Henderson back her mobility and helping her rebuild her strength so she can get her independence back," Lynne explained.

A clinical specialist in elderly rehabilitation, Lynne has 25 years of physio experience and is one of a new breed of more senior physiotherapists.

Although encouraging mobility and movement is a large part of her job, she says she also liaises with a range of other teams to give her patients the best care.

She said: "Today I've spoken to Mrs Henderson's home manager, a social worker, a bed manager up in the Jubilee Wing, two consultants, a specialist DVT nurse because I'm worried about her circulation, a chiropodist, and her home-help nurse.

"It's all part of the way we work, trying to get patients the best care as quickly as possible rather than leaving people for days on wards while they wait for the next person to come and see them."

On the other side of the hospital, on ward 24 of the Jubilee Wing, physiotherapist Roz Kelly is getting 67-year-old George Puntin out of his chair.

George, who has suffered from a number of strokes and also has symptoms of Parkinson's, is due to go home to his wife in Felling later this week after nearly a month on the ward.

When he first came in, he had to be lifted in a hoist when he wanted to move from his bed to a chair but after a month of intensive physio, George, who has two married children, needs only a little help to get to standing. …

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