Here we raise our symbolic glass to the winners as well as to the profession to acknowledge the achievements we have all made this year in caring for our communities!
Outstanding Care During COVID-19 Award
Celebrating those that have shown a commitment to supporting the health and care of patients, their local communities or wider healthcare services throughout the impact and challenges of COVID-19 – in this exceptional year, in which we received the largest ever number of nominations for one category, the judges chose to award two winners.
Winner – Adam Sealey
Adam stood out for the judges for his “innovative and modern approach to the provision of osteopathic care” throughout the challenges of COVID-19 developing new and innovative ways to deliver patient care despite the situation. Adams primary focus was based around improving communication; that is communication with his patients, communication with other healthcare professionals, and communication with the wider community.
It was Adam’s innovation and utilisation of technology to maintain osteopathic care and advice throughout the lockdown – scheduling in weekly phone/zoom calls to check in on their progress and discuss any issues and recording personalised videos for each of his patients, that really stood out. Adam’s proactive approach has meant his patients were able to continue making progress in spite of additional adversity, and having developed a new and sustainable online program he continues to provide effective treatments to those who are unable to attend face-to-face sessions.
Adam has had media articles on desk ergonomics published and recorded 18 videos on subjects relevant to lockdown such as setting up an ergonomic workstation at home, exercising at home with resistance bands, and stretches to do whilst sitting. Almost overnight there was a noticeable increase in the public’s awareness of issues surrounding health and wellness – developing a far wider reach for osteopathy to those who may have never otherwise received the osteopathic help/advice they needed.
Winner – Trowbridge Osteopaths and Wellbeing Centre
In the words of one judge – “their outreach work was truly impressive – engaging with their local community at every level”. Demonstrating how a truly community based osteopathic clinic can have a positive impact on the social wellbeing and health of the community in which they are part. Their involvement in community support projects was extensive: from their work with the Wiltshire Council’s ‘COVID Gold’ in the delivery of food packages, medicines and PPE for patients and others in the community to their links with the care in the community groups/ church groups, supporting those that were shielding, isolated or needed support: making sure a friendly face or telephone call was made each day.
Commended for their patient-centred approach at all times, throughout the entire year Trowbridge Osteopaths and Wellness Centre made themselves available through communication and patient partnership at all levels, providing a 7-day service from early morning until quite late at night.
Highly Commended – Bridgeham Clinic
The nomination for Trevor Strutt and the team at Bridgeham, was commented by the judges to be a “good solid nomination”. It highlighted a well-run clinic that applies best practice across all its services making it an asset to its community- as evidence number of patient testimonials received.
Community of Practice Award
Celebrating either new or existing community groups who made an outstanding contribution to the support of osteopaths by showing innovation and adaptability in challenging times and maintaining a network to offer support, communication and learning opportunities.
Winner – David Hohenschurz-Schmidt
This nomination immediately stood out to the judges as an initiative that has had a huge impact to osteopaths both in the UK and in the EU, while simultaneously engaging other other health professions. When it became apparent that a lockdown was going to happen, David wanted to support osteopaths’ development in delivering remote consultations by ensuring them an income whilst delivering a valuable and safe service to their patients and local community, as access to care was expected to be limited.
David contacted a range of academics and clinicians who had experience and expertise in e-health and developed a task force with colleagues from osteopathy and other disciplines, including psychologists, physiotherapists and primary care. Within less than a week he developed content that was peer-reviewed by this group and other professional stakeholders as to the provision of relevant and up-to-date information. The multidisciplinary webinars that David initiated trained more than 1500 clinicians in a week delivering 10 live webinars delivered in English, German and French. Since then his videos have been put online and viewed over 1800 times on a taskforce Facebook group that was created for all the delegates who wanted to share their experience and ask questions on remote consultations. This taskforce led to collaborative work outside of osteopathy and subsequently led to strong working relationships.
Highly Commended – Edinburgh Osteopathic Group
This group is an example of how osteopaths have come together to support each other and build capacity. The success of the group is very much a result of individuals engaging and sharing their knowledge and experience with each other. During lockdown they were quick to offer colleagues a safe space and support to practice tele-health consultations, and a virtual support network of on-line peer support groups that continues as a great legacy.
The iO President’s Medal
Awarded to an individual considered to have made an outstanding contribution to the profession, Stuart Korth, co-founder and director of the Osteopathic Centre for Children and inspiration for many of us osteopaths.
Stuart is a quintessential osteopath and teacher of osteopathy. Among his many achievements, Stuart has developed and established paediatric osteopathy as an important speciality which should be taken seriously and taught to the highest possible standards. The Osteopathic Centre for Children was founded in 1991. Many things about it were radical and original. One of the most striking aspects is that everything happens in a large room full of treatment tables, where everyone can see everyone else and there is a sense of working together. As well as a certain amount of noise. Through the OCC, Stuart and the people who have worked with him have been responsible for improving the health and quality of life of very many children and thus their families.
Stuart qualified and began osteopathic practice in 1964, joining the Tunbridge Wells practice started by his father, Leslie. Stuart also made long standing links with John Wernham and the Institute of Classical Osteopathy, so much so that they awarded him a Plaque of Recognition in 2018. The inscription said,
“In honour, recognition and appreciation of your undiminished dedication in keeping the broadest scope and potential of Osteopathy alive, through exceptional services to osteopathic practice and education”.
Which the Institute of Osteopathy totally agrees with.
Our past president, Ben Katz, trained and worked at the OCC and gave me this first hand description of Stuart’s leadership and direction. Ben says:
As a newly qualified osteopath working at the OCC, Stuart was both inspiring and terrifying. Part detective, part showman, his clinical insight cut through the most complex cases with Holmesian perspicacity, whilst his palpatory ability seemed at times to border on wizardry. He gave us permission to believe in our abilities, confidence that we could become experts and the motivation to accomplish it.
Stuart founded the OCC with Patricia Ferral in 1991. Royal patronage and high profile articles in the press, as well as the thousands of children and mothers treated each year, helping to raise paediatric osteopathy into the public consciousness. This is in itself a huge accomplishment. But what stands out most for me is Stuart’s vision. He saw then, thirty years ago, the need to develop a career structure for osteopathy – something we are only now starting to get to grips with as a profession (ref. 2021 strategy day). In structuring the OCC like a hospital department, with Clinical Tutors and Consultants overseeing the work of paediatric osteopaths in training, he created a collegiate culture of learning that has helped hundreds of osteopaths to develop into highly qualified paediatric specialists, whilst also creating a career path to encourage and support their continued professional development. He then helped others to replicate this model in countries around the world.