Emergency Department physios in running for award

A female physiotherapist in conversation with a female patient who is sitting on a bed
October 26, 2017

The Advanced Scope Physiotherapists (ASPs) working in the Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) Emergency Department have been nominated in the WA Health Excellence Awards category Workforce initiatives to improve service delivery.

ASPs have a post graduate physiotherapy qualification and extensive experience, and are capable of working independently within an advanced scope of practice.

ASPs primarily focus on seeing less urgent musculoskeletal-type patients who present to the ED, providing expert assessment, treatment and advice, and referring patients to appropriate outpatient or community services.

The service was introduced as a 2-year pilot program to help address growing pressure on the FSH ED, with ED presentations in WA increasing by 49 per cent over the past decade. 

This reduces the burden on other staff, reduces ED wait times for these patients and supports the hospital’s commitment to delivering high quality services.

The pilot was so successful that the ASP positions have since been permanently established within the ED workforce, and other hospitals have begun to follow FSH’s lead and establish ASP services in their own EDs.

Allied Health Head of Service Bronwyn Baker said the pilot project showed physiotherapists could add enormous value in the emergency setting.

“The ASPs are providing evidence based care with a musculoskeletal focus right there in the ED – reducing waiting times and enabling patients to be referred to appropriate services more efficiently,” Bronwyn said.

“Evaluation of the service has shown what a positive impact it’s having on patient flow, and I congratulate our dedicated team of ASPs for their efforts.”

See the full list of finalists (external site).

Winners will be announced at the awards dinner on 8 November.