15 Years of PhysioFunction

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Jon Graham, PhysioFunction, Northampton

Celebrating 15 years of PhysioFunction Ltd … Jon Graham talks about the history of company and the plan for the next 15 years.

In 2002, with a heavy heart, I left the NHS and began trading with my wife as “JR and EL Graham Physiotherapy” As husband and wife, we knew our values were aligned and it was natural to partner in business as physiotherapists offering neurological and orthopaedic rehabilitation to very best of our abilities. Demand from individuals seeking additional therapy for the difficulties arising from their neurological conditions grew to a point where I needed others to join my “enterprise”. Whilst treating and teaching in the NHS, I had come to know other talented physiotherapists who shared my values of integrity and honesty, and who could inspire individuals to meet their physical challenges through demanding physical therapy and home exercise.

However, we needed a new name to reflect the growth in our physiotherapy treatment team. “PhysioFunction” was borne to harness the idea that the goal of therapy is to improve function – in activities of daily life, work and leisure.

I found that whilst hands-on therapy can achieve results. It is often not enough. Over the last 15 years, I have sought out those rehabilitation technologies, often in their infancy, that could act as adjuncts and help our clients achieve their goals in a timelier manner. As therapists we found that many clients were able to extend their aspirations and achieve more using these technologies – FES, Saeboflex and more recently Virtual Rehabilitation “Gaming” and Exoskeletons.

What are our plans for the next 15 years? They are twofold.

Firstly, we are extending our therapy team to include highly experienced Occupational Therapists to enhance the “function” in “PhysioFunction”. We are forming strong collaborations with expert Speech Therapists, Neuropsychologists and Dieticians to offer a complete rehabilitation team along with Rehabilitation and Spinal Consultants.

Secondly, we are extending our influence beyond our clients through two initiatives: falls prevention therapy and the National Footdrop Society. The annual cost of falls to the NHS is £2 Billion. We are piloting a falls programme using the BalanceTutor, an innovative treadmill from Israel, that delivers “unexpected perturbation” which can train users to be able to successfully cope with trips and slips. Through collaboration with commissioners we are hoping that this will be widely adopted in the NHS and save vital funds.

One major contribution to falling is unmanaged “foot drop”. Alongside other industry professionals we are supporting the National Footdrop Society –a new social enterprise that will increase awareness of how foot drop can be managed with appropriate orthoses or FES. One key strategy is an annual National Footdrop Awareness Day. Make a note – the inaugural day is Friday 21st September 2018, which is the last working day before the start of….Fall.

Finally, thank you for all your support and looking forward to another 15 years of “Maximising Independence”.

PhysioFunction – often copied, but always leaders in rehabilitation.

Jon Graham, Clinical Director