A PAIR of Larne physiotherapists have received a prestigious healthcare award for their unique approach to providing care for patients suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.
Emma Grant and Joan Warwick, who work at the physiotherapy department in Moyle Hospital, scooped a top accolade at the Northern Ireland Healthcare Awards, held at Belfast’s Europa Hotel last Thursday.
They were nominated for the Innovations in Parkinson’s Disease Award after setting up a weekly exercise-based class for patients at the hospital.
As well as being offered the chance to improve their posture, lower limb strength and balance, patients also received advice and support from a range of multi-discplinary organisations, such as occupational therapists, speech therapists, dieticians and the charity Parkinson’s UK.
There was also a fun element to the classes, such as singing along to classic hits from the 1960s.
Emma, from Carrickfergus, told the Times she had received “great feedback” from patients who had taken part in the course.
“Patients have said that the classes have significant physical and emotional benefits. What we have achieved is the result of the teamwork we have in place throughout the Northern Trust, as we have been able to draw upon the resources of a number of departments,” she said.
After being nominated for the award by Parkinson’s UK, Emma was interviewed by a panel of judges, who shortlisted her into the final three. She was then informed on the night of the awards that she had won her category.
“The awards ceremony was a great night and both Joan and I were shocked to receive the award against others who I felt had achieved so much,” Emma added.
Physiotherapy assistant Joan, from Larne, said: “Our project had absolutely no funding, whereas a number of the others we were up against did. I think this went in our favour, but we were still very surprised an honoured to pick up the award.
“We now hope to develop these classes even further in order to continue to meet the varied needs of our patients.”