Specialist deconditioning physiotherapist, Brooke Holden has started a new role funded by Kingston Hospital Charity to help prevent the deconditioning of patients across Richmond and Kingston and bring down the number of patients being admitted into hospital or visiting their GP due to a fall.

She has been working across Kingston Hospital and Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare (HRCH) on the project since July.

How the programme will work:

Working with two GP surgeries, a nursing home and a residential home across Richmond and Kingston, Brooke will target patients who have been identified by their GP or care home as being at risk of deconditioning and who would benefit from exercises to maintain their movement and mobility.

She will deliver weekly exercise classes at the two care homes and support a team of Community Rehabilitation Volunteers to deliver courses of eight, weekly one to one exercise sessions to patients in their own homes.

So far, Brooke has partnered with Holmwood Corner GP Surgery in New Malden and Willow Grange Nursing Home in Surbiton and is looking to partner with a second GP surgery and residential home in Richmond.

Reaching patients in care homes:

Willow Grange Nursing Care Home Manager Jackie Fennell says: “This is a wonderful way to support our residents to remain as independent as possible. It’s a welcome change for them and we’re thrilled Brooke is able to offer us this service here.”

Willow Grange resident Christine Hamilton, said at her assessment: “I really feel these exercise classes are what we need and I’m looking forward to starting some more physical activity in my week.”

Brooke is designing her chair based and traditional exercise classes for care homes, so as many residents as possible can attend the group sessions.

Reaching patients in their homes:

Brooke has been working with both Trusts’ volunteering services to recruit and train volunteers to deliver the one-to-one patient exercise sessions, to start in early November, with an aim to support up to 16 patients in their homes at any one time.

She will screen patients at a community hub near the GP surgery and attend their first home visit with each dedicated volunteer. Unlike Kingston Hospital and HRCH’s community exercise volunteer programme which focuses on discharged hospital patients who are 65 years or older, this service will be open to anyone who is deemed as being of need by their GP or care home.

Measuring the benefit to patients:

To understand how the project is benefiting patients, Brooke will be measuring patient mood, feelings of isolation and how confident care home staff feel when helping residents to move around the nursing homes. She’ll also be looking at improvements in patient mobility, balance and endurance.

Patient deconditioning is a joint quality priority for Kingston Hospital and HRCH.  Based on previous success in community deconditioning prevention projects, it is hoped the data collected from this year long project will support the continuation and expansion of the programme.

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