BRADFORD District Care NHS Foundation Trust has saved more than £675,000 and reduced sickness absence among its staff by working with an occupational physiotherapy provider.

The trust now offers a more flexible occupational therapy service after joining forces with the firm for the new service.

Trust employees suffering with injuries or musculoskeletal disorders are now able to access physiotherapy more quickly and easily, through on-site physiotherapy made available by Physio Med.

By helping staff to return to work more quickly and increase their productivity, the trust is estimated to have saved £676,200.

The five days-a-week service is run across three of the trust’s sites in Bradford. It was introduced last year and 319 of the trust’s 3,000 staff were referred for treatment in 2015.

This group reported a 79 per cent reduction in their pain levels, and a 33 per cent increase in their productivity.

The trust has worked with Physio Med for a number of years to provide faster access to physiotherapy to help staff recover from injuries and return to work.

It provides staff in Bradford greater access to treatment during working hours, rather than waiting for appointments with NHS physiotherapists and potentially being absent from work.

Joanne Hoban, occupational health and wellbeing manager at Bradford District Care Foundation Trust, said she was delighted with the results of the deal.

She said: “The nature of many of the roles within our organisation means that employees can be susceptible to musculoskeletal injuries.

“We’re absolutely delighted with these results and increasing access to occupational physiotherapy has been incredibly beneficial to the health and wellbeing of our staff, which in turn means we are able to offer a better service to the public.”

The deal between the trust and Physio Med, based in Leeds, has expanded to provide back care classes for trust employees to help prevent re-occurrence of injuries.

The weekly, on-site half-day sessions will be run by one of Physio Med’s chartered physiotherapists, combining physical exercises with expert advice. Further plans are also in place to offer similar sessions for those who suffered knee and shoulder complaints.

The trust offers care to people in the Bradford district with community health, mental health and social care needs, as well as specialist support for those with learning disabilities.

Physio Med is now offering induction sessions to all new trust employees to offer advice and workplace exercises to safeguard against musculoskeletal disorders.

The firm offers occupational physiotherapy services to a number of NHS Trusts across the UK and other large organisations.

Phil Clayton, Physio Med’s managing director, spoke of the scheme’s continued success and the relationship between the trust and his company.

He said: “The staff at the trust do an incredible job and it’s vitally important that they remain as fit as possible in order to help their patients.

“When we were approached about broadening our service provision in order to make it more accessible for the trust’s employees, we were only too happy to be able to help.

“Prevention and education is also key so we hope the extra services we are providing will help to further reduce future sickness absence.”