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The trust's new therapy care assistants

Therapy care assistants take a bow

The trust has created a new role at Northwick Park Hospital that sits between the existing roles of therapists and nurses fostering greater ‘care collaboration.’

Therapy Care Assistants (TCAs) spend more time with patients allowing their clinical colleagues to focus on assessment and rehabilitation.

Their duties include helping patients get out of bed and dressed and assisting with basic mobility exercises as well as supporting established hospital initiatives like Get Up, Get Dressed and Get Moving.

The TCAs will also be trained in in pressure ulcer prevention, discharge communication and raising safeguarding concerns.

The 18-month pilot, which is employing four TCAs on two elderly wards, aims to ease pressure on hard-pressed staff as well as give TCAs the chance to progress their careers in either specialis

Physiotherapist Jaanki Palan, who is on a year-long secondment as a Transformation Fellow in Integrated Medicine, has helped introduce the role which was initially suggested by divisional director of Nursing Jo McCarthy.

“Clinical staff often know where service improvements need to be made but sometimes lack the time and resources to implement them. The assistants are seeing up to 25 patients a day and have already helped reduced the number staying in bed until 11.30am by a quarter.”

Therapy Care Assistant Niraj Karki added: “I used to look after my grandfather before and I really enjoy working for the elderly and helping motivate them. If I can make their day a bit brighter by being caring and compassionate and listening to their needs it makes world of a difference to me.”

Colleague Kibrom Berhane worked as a healthcare assistant with the elderly for eight years and enjoys interacting and helping the elderly.

“I loved communicating with elderly people, I loved helping them with day-to-day things like personal care, feeding and making them feel comfortable.”


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