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Black Country duo first in new accredited role

2024-04-23T12:26:51+01:00Tuesday 23 April 2024|

Two senior healthcare professionals who rehabilitate heart patients have become the first in the Black Country to be accredited by a national organisation in their field.

Paul Boden, from Walsall Heartcare, an independent charity commissioned by Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, and Chris Scordis, Joint Lead for Cardiac Rehabilitation at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT), have become registered Clinical Exercise Physiologists (CEPs) by Clinical Exercise Physiology UK (CEP-UK).

Both have been Exercise Physiologists for 23 years – at Walsall Heartcare and New Cross Hospital respectively – and are two of 88 registered UK CEPs, while a further 183 have applied for registration.

Paul and Chris specialise in exercise testing and assessment, mainly for patients recovering from heart attacks and other long-term conditions. Walsall Heartcare deals with around 1,500 referrals a year and RWT’s service 1,800.

They recently attended the first CEP-UK conference at Manchester Metropolitan University. They were told of a patient who completed a full Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112-mile cycle ride and a 26.2-mile run) after a heart transplant.

“I’m very proud to have achieved this registration ,” said Paul, 46, from Hagley.

“Not too many people are familiar with our role, so hopefully this organisation will help promote us to a wider audience.

“I’m a firm believer in the therapeutic effect of physical activity and exercise in the management of several long-term health conditions, so this recognition will help promote the role with the NHS.

“We’ve had patients who have gone on to run marathons and long bike rides – and one heart failure patient does the local parkrun quicker than a member of staff!

“But it’s about providing clinical input with patients to help them achieve realistic goals – return to work, play golf or whatever they do in their daily lives.

“In most cases people can return to doing most things they were doing before their cardiac event.”

Chris, 47, from Wednesfield, added: “It’s a nice accolade and I’m very proud to be the first at RWT.

“The CEP-UK can help promote our skills, knowledge and role and service because it’s different to traditional Nurses and Physios.

“CEPs’ scope encompasses apparently healthy individuals to those with chronic and complex conditions, from primary prevention, through acute management, to rehabilitation and maintenance.

“The true skill with the management of patients can be trying to overcome any negative thoughts towards exercise, and trying to apply theory and exercise to find what’s effective and what isn’t.”

To become accredited, applicants must prove they have six years of education, training and experience and a minimum two or three years’ clinical experience.

Paul works in core cardiac rehab and prescribes cardiac and pulmonary rehab and some cancer rehab.

Chris concentrates on core cardiac rehab, including cardiac, vascular, cancer and multi-comorbidity rehab.

Demand for CEPs is at its highest because healthcare providers are facing unprecedented need for services post COVID-19.

CEP-UK is a project formed following a grant awarded to Liverpool John Moores University and University of Western Australia.

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