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Welcome to the latest bulletin from the Community Therapists Network. 

Allied health professionals are critical to new models of care
"Allied health professionals (AHPs) make up 6 per cent of the NHS workforce – the third largest professional group – and still more work in social care, housing, local government, and the voluntary and private sectors. They are highly trained and professionally autonomous practitioners, yet too often their vital contribution is marginalised in a public discourse that tends to refer only to ‘doctors and nurses’. This needs to change."  This is the view of David Oliver, visiting fellow at the Kings Fund. To read his full blog click here.

Update on Rehabilitation for Economic Growth
Dr John Etherington, National Clinical Director for Rehabilitation and Recovering in the Community for NHS England, talking at this year's OT show, spoke about the need to enhance rehabilitation services across a broad area of conditions, to improve patient outcome and enhance the economic benefits to the country. He spoke of the work that NHS England have been engaged in to strengthen the argument to support investment into rehabilitation services and highlighted some of the funding opportunities that are currently available. He then presented some of the evidence to demonstrate the impact that rehabilitation can have on the economy and stressed the need for services to be collecting data. To view further details of Dr Etherington's presentation from the OT show, which includes further detail on accessing funding streams click here.

Do we do what it says on the tin - The Therapy Outcome Measure   
Giving a 'Keynote lecture' at this year's OT Show, Prof Pam Enderby spoke about the key role of collecting outcome data in order to monitor cost-effectiveness of rehabilitation within the health service. Prof Enderby also spoke of the value of measuring outcome in order to identify ways of improving a service. Focusing on Occupation Therapy (OT), she talked of 4 key area where OT plays a key role and she looked at the aims of therapy. To read the Prof Enderby's full presentation click here. To learn more about the TOM and how to use it click here.
Vitally important MS services face critical challenges
Vital NHS services that people living with MS rely on are facing increasing pressures which could lead to inequities in care, according to a major new report published by the MS Trust today. The report, which you can find here, also offers a valuable compendium of evidence about MS specialist nursing and the huge difference that they make every day for people living with MS. To add to the concerns raised in the report MS trust in partnership with Commissioning Excellence have just released a second report 'Measuring the burden of hospitalisation in multiple sclerosis', which helps to highlight how better, more cost-effective services can be delivered for people with MS, and can be read from here.

New guidance to raise awareness of the importance of good nutritional care

The new guidance draws together the most up-to-date evidence based resources and research to support commissioners to develop strategies to help ensure excellent nutrition and hydration care in acute services and the community. For further details click here


Measuring rehabilitation potential after Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)
The Spinal Cord Injury-Ability Realization Measurement Index (SCI-ARMI) is an effective tool that can be used to measure the achievement of rehabilitation potential in patients who have suffered a spinal cord injury. This is according to a recent study of 306 patient, which you can read about from here.
Post-stroke spasticity and impact of Botulinum toxin
The therapeutic effects of intramuscular injections of botulinum toxin-type A on spasticity can largely be explained by its blocking action at the neuromuscular junction. But a recent study supports the view that Botulinum toxin-type A also has a central action on the functional organization of the central nervous system. To read more about this study click here 

Consumption of anthocyanin-rich cherry juice and impact on cognitive function
A 12-week randomised controlled trial assessed cognitive outcomes in older adults (+70 year) with mild-to-moderate dementia (n = 49) after consumption of 200 ml/day of either a cherry juice or a control juice with negligible anthocyanin content. Those with dementia experiences improvements in verbal fluency, short-term memory and long-term memory. Further details of the study can be found here.

The ability to 'trust' declines in Parkinson's Disease
In a study of non-demented PD patients without evidence of significant neuropsychiatric comorbidities, it has been found that the patients exhibit significantly lower levels of trust than do healthy controls. Why this is the case is not completely understood. To read the paper in full click here


Mild Traumatic Brain Injury - How Primary Care can make a difference,  Wed 23rd March, London  This is a half day Primary Care Neurology Society seminar run in partnership with the Wolfson Centre for Neurorehabilitation, St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Speakers to include leading neuropsychiatrist Dr Mike Dilley, but further details of the seminar click here.

Any companies/organisations interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at any of these events should email the event organisers. Contact details should be available from the relevant links.