THE Chief Executive of the country’s largest professional body for physiotherapists visited Chippenham on Friday (Jan 29) after learning of the pioneering care being offered by Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to patients with motor neurone disease.

Karen Middleton, chief executive of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, visited Chippenham hospital to learn more about the support being given to MND sufferers in their own homes by Anita Sinclair, respiratory specialist physiotherapist.

Ms Sinclair, who has been an instrumental figure in community care since her appointment in 2014, was bowled over to learn that her work was the catalyst for Karen’s unexpected visit.

She said: “It came as a complete shock to me when I was told but I’m absolutely honoured that such a well-respected and forward-thinking individual from the physiotherapy world has taken such an interest in not just my work, but the work of all the physios working so hard across Wiltshire.

“Meeting Karen and showing her how we do things in Wiltshire was a great experience.”

Ms Sinclair’s work with motor neurone disease patients is invaluable as many sufferers will often experience respiratory issues due to the muscles around their diaphragm deteriorating.

Her regular home visits also mean that she is able to predict which patients will need intervention and assistance before they become critically ill.

“In my role, I offer patients and their families a co-ordinated approach to their care needs, which are often multiple and complex," she added.

"By visiting patients in their own homes, I can help reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and referrals to consultant-led outpatient clinics.

“Home visits also mean that important decisions around a person’s care and treatment are made quicker, which can significantly improve their quality of life."

The role of Respiratory Specialist Physiotherapist was introduced in the Wiltshire community in 2014 after a local family, who lost their father to motor neurone disease, part-funded Ms Sinclair's first year in post.

Following a successful first year, Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group chose to make the role a permanent fixture of the care offered in the Wiltshire community.