HCSW Mobility Aid Provision tool image
Credit: Chartered Society of Physiotherapists

Two specialist rehabilitation physiotherapists at NHS Forth Valley have created a video-based learning resource in Scotland to make sure the provision of mobility aids is consistent by healthcare support workers (HCSWs).

Libby Simpson and Sara Thomson developed the six-module ‘HCSW Mobility Aid Provision’ tool, which is available online from LearnPro NHS.

The modules cover a variety of topics including balance, walking aids, walking patterns, indoor mobility and outdoor mobility.

“The modules were developed for NHS Forth Valley but at our recent launch we had very keen interest from other health boards,” Libby told the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists.

With funding from NHS Education for Scotland, the resource was developed in response to a need to standardise and improve the effectiveness of HCSWs in the provision of walking aids.

Sara commented: “The innovative thing for us was to make the short in-house videos with the team.”

Libby and Sara created each module to provide HCSWs with the resources, knowledge and skills needed to carry out their day-to-day tasks.

“Some staff will be picking up new skills and knowledge on conditions and factors that are important in the provision of a walking aid,” Libby explained. “They are also designed to cover every eventuality, for example, when to use one or two walking sticks and what to think about before taking a patient outside.”

Taking around 20 minutes to complete, each module features an assessment and practical demonstration with a patient.

Libby and Sara hope that sharing the resource on an online platform will allows the videos to be accessed across different services and settings. They are also planning to share the videos on YouTube to make them accessible to other staff and patients.

“We thought it would be good to create a learning resource that we could share on LearnPro so that every HCSW in NHS Forth Valley will have the same competencies and will be working to the same song sheet,” concluded Libby.

“We also feel it will be really useful in community and social care settings and as it’s rolled out will help with standardisation.”

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