Can advanced practice physiotherapists deliver high-quality care in the paediatric orthopaedic setting?

The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of a physiotherapist-led triage clinic over the 3-year period from January 2011 to December 2013.

The clinic in this study was established in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin, run by physiotherapists working in an advanced practice role (APP), and was the first paediatric clinic of its type and scale in the Republic of Ireland.

Over the course of the 3-year period, 2650 patients were managed by the clinic. Since its inception, the clinic has significantly reduced waiting times for routine elective paediatric orthopaedic patients while managing the majority of patients independent of surgical opinion.

This study shows that the APP can deliver high-quality care in the paediatric orthopaedic setting, benefitting both patients and service.