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The value of a combined MDT process and having multiple voices round the table



At Askham Rehab, Multidisciplinary Teams (MDTs) are an essential part of our rehab model, bringing together specialist team members to collaborate in the assessment and management of patients. 

This approach is widely used and successful in the rehabilitation of patients with brain and spinal injuries, as by bringing together experts from different fields, a MDT ensures that a patient receives a comprehensive care.

MDTs can include specialists such as neurologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, and clinical psychologists — each bringing a unique perspective when addressing differing and complex needs.

Brain and spinal injuries can have wide-ranging effects, and a collaborative approach allows you to consider all aspects of the patient’s condition, including physical, cognitive, and emotional wellbeing — before developing an optimal rehabilitation plan.

After assessing a patient, MDT’s might also set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals, which again, is a fundamental way of maintaining a positive improvement trajectory. 

A shining example of this rehab model in action is Joshua Donlon, a Cambridgeshire community radio presenter who lost his ability to project his voice due to a rare brain tumour. 

He was assessed by all four of Askham’s multidisciplinary teams; clinical psychology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy, before working with them to design an individualised programme.

Eventually, Josh was able to return to the airwaves and regained his voice — and in some ways, his identity.

The MDT process is also beneficial in addressing any potential complications that may arise, and as brain and spinal injuries can have unpredictable effects, they can work together to monitor the patient’s progress and adjust the treatment plan as needed — identifying the cause and developing a plan to overcome this and push forwards.

However, while this multi-disciplinary approach certainly creates better outcomes for patients, it comes at a cost.

Intra-discipline communication together with holistic reporting and shared goal setting takes more time than it would if done in a siloed fashion.

At Askham Rehab, our ethos recognises this explicitly and we are transparent in allocating time to facilitate this highly beneficial way of working.

This ensures that patients, therapists and funders are fully committed and reap the benefits throughout the Askham journey.

There is no doubt that the MDT process can improve the quality of life of patients, therefore, where possible, having this framework in place should always be a priority.

Whether it’s a speech therapist that identifies issues with communication, or an occupational therapist that identifies issues with self-care — understanding your patients’ needs is everything in our world, so why not explore this through multiple lenses.

To see more examples of what we have been able to achieve with this approach, please visit: www.askhamrehab.com

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