#YourPostureMatters and why: developing a postural care strategy for Scotland

A short introductory blog for the launch of the National Postural Care Strategy by Michelle Morrison & Pauline Beirne, Joint Chairs National Postural Care Strategy Steering group plus an added blog from Kara & Kate.

One weekday morning in 2017, I was walking with Jacqui Lundy Johnstone ( then Chief Allied Health Professions Officer Scottish Government) to an event being held by PAMIS in the Blythswood Hotel in Glasgow . This event was the launch of the PAMIS film’’……..’’  The conversation on the way back form the launch that day was about how might action be taken to raise awareness of the critical need for people to know about body shape and postural care and what we could do to make a difference.  What happened after this discussion has resulted in where we are today with the launch of a Postural Care Strategy for adults and YCP for Scotland and a training framework and resources for everyone working with, supporting and experiencing postural care needs.

Including a  commitment in The Active and Independent Living Programme( AILP Scottish Government 2018) to develop a National Postural Care Strategy , set us off on 4 years of listening , collaborating, discussing, planning and consulting that has been one of the most fulfilling relational projects I have ever been involved in . I have learned from everyone who has been involved about their own experiences with people they love , about the challenges of delivering postural care learning and support in practice in Scotland , about the passion and innovation for people’s health and wellbeing outcomes and about working collaboratively with organisations that people trust , in relational ways. I have experienced the power of genuine partnership working and collaboration, I have been immersed in the art of the possible and been immersed in understanding postural care and the potential of this strategy and learning framework to change people’s lives.

The strategy sets out 3 bold ambitions and 14 challenging recommendations empowering self- management, accessing equipment to meet needs and ensuring that protecting bidy shape becomes an integral part of everyday life .The strategy is built on the personal stories shared by people with lived experience and this is its greatest strength.We have already started the what next journey bringing together the Forum who will have oversight of the next steps towards ensuring the strategy is widely known and used to support whole systems understanding  that protecting body shape is everyone’s business !

So it’s here !  The launch of the National Postural Care Strategy for Scotland. So many people have told their stories and shared their experiences, and these are central to the strategy ambitions.

We are already planning what next and going forward over the next year to taking this strategy into practice and learning  and reporting in 2022 on the impact of this . This strategy is a catalyst for change!

#YourPostureMatters: Learning from Kara

Embracing good postural care has been life changing for our daughter Kara, and I truly believe life saving too. Kara is 25yrs old with profound and multiple learning disabilities as well as scoliosis and type 2 respiratory failure. She requires 24/7 care and is totally wheelchair dependent with chronic pain. By implementing good postural care and positioning her pain medication hasn’t been increased in three years and her posture greatly improves her respiratory function which in turn improves her quality of life tremendously.  In 2018 she had a very bad year health wise and after four long stay hospital admissions she needed 24hr oxygen support and we were told when we left hospital in November that she wouldn’t see Christmas,  she did and is still happy and enjoying her life and we believe good postural care has helped this happen. Kate 

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