Patient helps select physiotherapy service provider

Ian ‘Fred’ Winterbone has played a key role in the commissioning of a new community physiotherapy se

Ian ‘Fred’ Winterbone has played a key role in the commissioning of a new community physiotherapy service in north Norfolk and Broadland - Credit: Archant

A patient with cerebral palsy has helped shape a new community based physiotherapy service.

Ian 'Fred' Winterbone, from Cromer, played key role in assessing bids to run the service covering north Norfolk and rural Broadland.

Mr Winterbone is a trustee of Opening Doors, a user-led charity for people with learning difficulties, and a member of its management committee.

A wheelchair user, Mr Winterbone has used the physiotherapy service in Norfolk since childhood giving him an insight into the health needs of others with disabilities.

He was part of a panel who quizzed potential providers, before scoring them against a range of criteria.

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The service, provided by The Integrated Care Clinics, has been tailored to meet the needs of local people and will offer sessions at doctors' surgeries and community venues.

It has been planned and designed by North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to ensure patients receive treatment in a timely way while making the best use of NHS resources.

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Mr Winterbone, 54, said: 'I felt honoured to be part of the process and have my views heard with independent support from Opening Doors' self-advocacy service.

'It's important for patients like me who use these services to sit on the interview panels, as we know what makes a good and bad service and know how it should work. Seeing how the providers react to patient like me on the panel tells us about their attitudes towards patients.'

Feedback was also provided by Mr Winterbone on being part of the procurement process, listing a number of areas where he felt it could be improved.

Integrated Care Clinics has taken over the contract from the current provider – Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust. Patients requiring physiotherapy will be referred by their GP for a range of specialist treatment and rehab services.

North Walsham GP Dr James Gair said: 'Having Fred involved in the assessment of the bids, and using his views and experiences to shape the specifications to ensure the service was accessible to all, was hugely beneficial.'

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