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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Oxford Critical Care

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The AICU Physiotherapy Team has evolved significantly, and comprises six full time physiotherapists and a rehabilitation assistant.

Since 2017 the team has expanded to provide physiotherapy cover to the ICU until 8.00pm, seven days a week. This has resulted in an increase in the number of rehabilitation sessions that are provided, and a decrease in the use of overnight on-call services. It also provides much needed continuity of care, delivered by specialist ICU physiotherapists.

We are fully integrated into the ICU multidisciplinary team (MDT). We adopt a proactive approach to patient care and regularly provide high quality interventions to patients with complex and varied presentations. We take an active role in weaning and respiratory care, as well as delivering early rehabilitation sessions.

The team is well-governed, and we use comprehensive data collection and performance analysis to demonstrate the value of our interventions, and to identify areas for future improvement and research.

One senior physiotherapy post is shared with the Kadoorie Centre; this has increased our intervention into ICU research and developed the skills within the team.

We continue to work towards the safe and effective delivery of rehabilitation with critically unwell patients, and aim to improve the care of patients after their discharge from critical care.

Our team

Owen Gustafson BSc (Hons) MSc (Res) PGCert MCSP

Owen has been the lead physiotherapist for AICU since 2011. After qualifying in 2005 he moved into the field of respiratory physiotherapy, undertaking a PGCert in Advanced Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy. He then specialised in critical care physiotherapy, gaining experience in paediatric, cardiothoracic, neurosurgical, surgical and general critical care.

Owen has an interest in rehabilitation of the critically ill patient and long term outcomes, specifically musculoskeletal dysfunction. Owen is also interested in research, receiving the ICS Young Investigator Award in 2012 before completing an MSc by research in 2016.

Owen has presented at several national and international conferences, presenting as a finalist in the ESICM Young Lecturer of the Year Award 2017. In 2017 Owen received the Robert Williams International Award from the CSP.

Owen has a developing interest in POCUS and has CUSIC accreditation for Lung US for physiotherapists.

Owen Gustafson

Rebekah Haylett BSc (Hons) MSc MCSP

Becky is a Senior Physiotherapist in Critical Care. After qualifying in 2006 she developed a strong interest in critical care, and has extensive experience in the management of major trauma patients.

Becky has a keen interest in acute rehabilitation and improving patient outcomes after critical illness. She has been actively involved in research projects and audits aimed at improving patient outcomes and service development on the ICU. A study of patients with spinal cord injury was presented to the ESICM in 2014 and has improved the acute respiratory/airway management for patients.

Becky has been involved in developing the use of a standardised functional measure to allow assessment of pre-admission status, and robust re-assessment post discharge. These projects have been presented to a variety of conferences and local education sessions.

In 2017 Becky completed an MSc in Advanced Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy. Her dissertation reported the outcomes of major trauma patients in the UK. She maintains regular teaching commitments in a number of forums including sessions for the ICU MDT, a postgraduate nursing course, and medical training days.

Becky Haylett

Jonathan Grant BSc (Hons) MCSP

Jonny is a Senior Physiotherapist in Critical Care. He qualified from the University of the West of England in 2011, and has since worked on rotations within OUH, prior to starting in a static role on AICU in 2015.

Jonny's interests revolve around exercise therapy in critically ill patients, as well as teaching. He has been involved in a variety of research projects on AICU, and has presented some of his work on mobility outcomes at ICU discharge at local and international conferences.

Jonathan Grant

Philippa Piper BSc (Hons) MCSP

Phi Piper is a Senior Physiotherapist in Critical Care. Since joining OUH in 2013 Phi has spent time completing training rotations across the Trust where she developed her keen interest in critical care physiotherapy.

Phi has been completing an 18-month half-time secondment at the Kadoorie Centre, undertaking research projects in the area of critical care rehabilitation and monitoring.

She is specifically interested in the factors affecting patient resilience/motivation and improving patient outcomes.

Phi Piper

Leanne Bolton

Leanne is our rehabilitation assistant in AICU. She started working with us in September 2016 after previously working in a local community gym as the lead for the GP Referral service.

Having never worked in a hospital environment before, she is particularly enjoying engaging with the patients and seeing them progress during their hospital stay.

Her main roles on the unit are to assist with early rehabilitation with the physiotherapists, to devise and deliver rehabilitation programmes and help patient cognition by regularly interacting and re-orientating them.

Leanne is completing an assistant practitioner further education course to further develop her knowledge and skill base.

Leanne Bolton

Presentations and publications

  • ESICM 2017 Poster Presentation
    • A review of mobility practices with orally intubated patients in a UK, general ICU
    • A Service Development Initiative of Extended Hours Working for Physiotherapy Services in Critical Care
  • CPT 2017 Shoulder Dysfunction in Intensive Care Survivors
  • ESICM 2016 Poster Presentation - Does a higher level of mobility at ICU discharge result in a shorter post ICU length of stay?
  • ESICM 2014 Poster Presentation - A review of the respiratory management of cervical spinal cord injuries

Current projects (January 2018)

  • Feasibility of assessing pre-admission functional status and six month outcomes of major trauma patients using the WHODAS 2.0
  • Service evaluation investigating outcomes of the abdominal surgical patient group
  • Audit into extubations outcomes on AICU
  • NICE CG83 Audit