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Neuro rehab insights

‘The special moments for patients are special to me too’

Binny Kuriakose, a specialist neurophysiotherapist at St Andrew’s, shares the impact he makes through his work



Binny Kuriakose, a highly specialist physiotherapist in the neuro division at St Andrew’s Healthcare, shares insight into his role at the specialist provider and how he makes a difference

Hello Binny! To start, how long have you worked at St Andrew’s, and what did you do previously?
I’ve been here for 15 years. Before joining St Andrew’s, I worked as an assistant lecturer / physiotherapist in a reputable teaching hospital / medical university abroad.

Describe an average day at St Andrew’s…
My day starts with a bit of admin, to identify any priorities for the day. As a responsible clinician, attending ward morning huddles also enables me to prioritise my clinical caseload (and have a cup of tea!) I then prioritise any acute rehab cases such as chest physiotherapy and falls management, to ensure that our patients are safe. In addition to my clinical caseloads, I have managerial duties to ensure high standards of physiotherapy across our brain injury wards.

What’s the most exciting part of your job?
I feel honoured when I receive positive feedback from a patient or the patient’s family regarding their treatment progress. The most exciting part is the successful implementation of the treatment intervention to a challenging patient. This is especially fulfilling when dealing with those who have significant difficulty with their understanding.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Sometimes it is not possible to deliver effective treatment interventions due to the lack of resources (staffing/equipment availability) or patient non-compliances. Nevertheless, physios are really good at adapting the ways we work, to use whatever’s at hand to do the best for our patients.

What are you most proud of during your time at St Andrew’s?
The first time I got somebody from being bed bound, to chair, to standing, to walking. That was a special moment that doesn’t get any less special with each patient I see.

How much of your role is patient-focused?
As a highly specialist physiotherapist, my entire role is patient focused. When I manage my team, it’s to get the best out of them so that our patients receive the maximum input of our efforts. When I write reports, it is to illustrate how well our patients are doing. However, I’m at my best when I’m face to face with a patient and helping them to stand, walk and do some of the things they used to enjoy before they had to begin living with a brain injury.

How do you and your team make a difference?
My team and I in the neuropsychiatry division play a vital role in recognising patient need and implementation of a treatment plan. Through this we help our patients to live with pain, balance and other functional issues, whilst reducing the risk of falls, fractures, respiratory conditions and issues related to non-communicable disease, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, mental health and chronic low back pain. Through dealing with these issues, we help our patients to return to normal function through making them fitter, stronger and more flexible, whilst preventing some of the issues presented above.

If you could change one thing within the charity for the benefit of all what would it be?
I would propose that ward mangers (utilising their experience and knowledge of their MDT) have more power to allocate finances in a way that best suits their ward and their patients. This will help with staff retention, allow them to better develop their team, work to their strengths and provide a better working environment with the right skill mix that may require more therapy.

What do you like to do outside of work?
I have three children and I enjoy spending time with them and my wife, participating in local charitable events in the community. I serve as a trustee member of a local religious charity organisation.