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Paediatric physio-led team wins Therapy award

18 January 2008

Congratulations to the Ponseti clubfoot clinic team who have won the 2007 Therapy Clinical Excellence Award at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

Congratulations to the Ponseti clubfoot clinic team who have won the 2007 Therapy Clinical Excellence Award at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

The team, which is led by paediatric physiotherapists but includes colleagues from other departments including orthopaedics, have a local, national and international reputation for their work on the management of babies born with club feet.

Dr Jeremy Lewis, Consultant Physiotherapist and Research Lead for the Therapy Department, said: “The clinical excellence award is presented annually to an individual therapist, or a small group or team of therapists, who have contributed in a positive and meaningful way to enhance and promote good clinical practice.

“The award is judged against criteria including initiatives to reduce waiting times and improve patient care, published research that benefits clinical practice, integration of evidence into clinical practice, and the development of evidence-based patient care pathways and care packages.”

The physiotherapy Ponseti team is led by Denise Watson, Paediatric Orthopaedic Physiotherapy Practitioner, and also includes another physiotherapist, a physio assistant, plaster technician and orthopaedic surgeons Ms Alison Hulme and Mr Stuart Evans.

Club foot affects up to 3 in 1,000 live births and treatment has traditionally involved invasive surgery and serial casts. The Ponseti method includes serial casts, a tenotomy (small surgical incision) of the Achilles tendon performed under local anaesthetic, and splints that are worn at night.

Published research shows that 78% of children can expect good to excellent results with the Ponseti method (62% excellent).

Chelsea and Westminster is one of the largest centres in the country that perform this specialist work, with a clinic run all day every Thursday, and the team recently presented two papers at an international conference in Manchester.

Dr Jeremy Lewis said: “The parents of babies treated using the Ponseti method at Chelsea and Westminster have sent in many expressions of thanks for the outstanding work done by the team.

“The most humbling comment came from parents who wrote, ‘Thought you would get a kick out of this picture. Look at the feet, aren’t they gorgeous!’”

Denise Watson said: “The Ponseti method has revolutionised the treatment of clubfoot and enables us to predict good results for parents. Our success relies on a strong team and would not have been possible without the support of the orthopaedic surgeons Alison Hulme and Stuart Evans.”

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