Physio Matters has stepped in to help an injured client with a dislocated knee following a fall, but who was unwilling to go to hospital due to COVID-19 fears.
Our Clinical Director, Colin Green, recently conducted a virtual assessment on new referral Lorna from Tameside who needed neuro physiotherapy following multiple injuries after a road traffic accident. A few days later, Lorna fell and dislocated her knee. Although it was very painful, she felt that her knee joint had relocated but she was still struggling to walk. However, Lorna did not want to go to A&E because of the current lockdown and fears about contracting COVID-19.
Fearful about Coronavirus
“It was a tricky situation,” explained Colin. “Her case manager Amanda Knight contacted us because Lorna was in a great deal of pain and unable to walk. She needed treatment but was fearful about getting Coronavirus if she went into a hospital. So, we put our heads together and worked collaboratively to establish a plan to help her.”
This involved Kirsty Agnew, Specialist Neuro Physiotherapist at Physio Matters, who through her NHS background was able to contact her former manager, Linda Mullen-Hartley, Associate Director Intermediate Tier Services/Directorate Manager Integrated Therapies at Tameside and Glossop NHS Foundation Trust. Linda directed Kirsty to their Digital Health Team, which was set up before COVID-19. Their role is to assess people in their own homes and community by video and phone, and link them up with medical professionals in the hospital.
Support from Digital Health Team
Consequently, Colin was able to liaise with Peter Grace, Digital Health Clinical and Project Nurse Lead and Emergency Nurse Practitioner for Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust and explain Lorna’s situation. The Digital Health Team then phoned Lorna to reassure her about what procedures would be in place to protect her if she came into the hospital. This gave Lorna the confidence to attend Tameside Hospital for an x-ray of her injured knee.
Thankfully, the x-ray showed there was no fracture to her knee and that it was no longer dislocated. However, it still required treatment. To provide this, Peter went to Lorna’s house and fitted her with a splint for her knee and gave her crutches. Of course, he was dressed in personal protective equipment (PPE). He also arranged for Lorna to have a follow-up review with a trauma consultant.
Unfortunately, Lorna’s knee became more unsteady and she had to attend hospital again to have a full leg cast applied to stabilise the joint. She was sent home with crutches and will have another review later in May.
Grateful for Help
Amanda Knight from AMS Case Management is Lorna’s Case Manager and said: “We are very grateful to the team at Physio Matters who stepped in to help Lorna at a difficult time and co-ordinate her treatment. Without this input, Lorna would likely have continued struggling on, trying to walk on her injured knee which could have caused more trauma.”
“Our thanks also go to the Digital Health Team at Tameside Hospital who acted swiftly and were great at reassuring her, ensuring she got the right treatment following her x-ray,” she added. “Lorna is still struggling with mobility, transfers and self-care at home but very grateful her knee is more stable and we were able to help her with it. I’m pleased to say she is now on the right care pathway to resolve her injury so that once it is healed, she can continue with her rehab goals.”
Thanks to the NHS
Colin said: “It was a team effort to help an injured person with complex injuries, made all the more difficult by the lockdown and people’s fears about COVID-19. We are pleased Lorna has got the treatment she needed so quickly and our thanks go to the NHS staff at Tameside Hospital who have been brilliant. Lorna has a few more challenges with her rehab now she has an injured knee, but we look forward to working with her in future and improving her mobility.”
Click here to find out more about the Digital Health Team