John Brouder CEO, NELFT --- Wanda Kim Executive Chair, ETBH --- Jim Shannon MP, Strangford

The first element of the day took place at the Abbey Centre in Westminster and provided an opportunity for NELFT to showcase the results of their Quality Initiative partnership with GaitSmart.

Gait Day was led by John Brouder, CEO of NELFT who welcomed everybody and introduced the panellists and presenters.

The first panel, chaired by Sue Saville, former medical correspondent for ITN,  had representatives from NELFT including Anne Motley, Assistant Director of Unplanned Care, Justin Degutis, Lead Physiotherapist for the Intensive Rehabilitation Service (IRS), George Xydopoulos from the University of East Anglia and Dr. Diana Hodgins, Technical Director at GaitSmart. In this discussion NELFT presented the results of their Quality Improvement Programme which included discussions on the potential clinical and economic benefits of the GaitSmart intervention.

The second panel was chaired by Hilary Newiss, Chair of National Voices, and focused on the subject of “Older people at risk of falls and care in the community”. The panel consisted of Hannah Harniess, Head of Projects at Care City one of the seven NHS Test Beds, Geraldine Rogers, Associate Director of Nursing and Fellow for Older People at NELFT, Sandra Fitzpatrick MBE, Project Officer at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and Keith Butler, a patient who had been through the NELFT GaitSmart process. The discussion covered a range of areas within the subject topic but there was unanimous agreement that there needed to be improved and more formal ways to bring innovation into the care pathways, potentially by utilising existing initiatives.

The panels were followed by three presentations:

The first was from Hans Guehring, Medical Director, Global Clinical Development Immunology at Merck who presented on “The clinical trial perspective and the need for better functional endpoints”. Hans gave an interesting insight into the development around research into osteoarthritis and improvements required to gain better outcomes.

The second presentation was from Dr. Yelena Walters, Kew Road Musculoskeletal Practice who presented on “Task orientated rehabilitation to improve outcomes in knee replacement patients”. Yelena explained about the benefits that she had seen from incorporating tasks into the rehabilitation path for patients 12+ months post knee replacement surgery.

The last presentation was from Professor Ray Chaudhuri, Clinical Director National Parkinson’s Foundation Centre of Excellence, Kings College who presented on “How gait can be affected in patients with Parkinson’s Disease”. This was a really well received presentation as it enabled the audience to gain a good understanding of Parkinson’s Disease, the relationship to gait and in particular the non-motor aspects of Parkinson’s.

John Brouder ended the first session and invited everybody to join him for the networking session.

The networking session was hosted by Jim Shanon, MP, in the Strangers Dining Room at the House of Commons. MPs were invited to attend and to see a demonstration of the GaitSmart system as well as the opportunity for the attendees to experience GaitSmart themselves. A few MPs volunteered to be tested and received their GaitSmart gait reports and their personalised exercise plans within minutes of their short test. The MPs showed great enthusiasm for the GaitSmart system and several suggested steps to introduce the use of the system within their constituencies.

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