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Physiotherapist

The Physiotherapy Services at Mount Carmel Hospital is now considered to be one of the established health care professions involved in mental health care, having been provided for over 25 years. It's influence has extended beyond the traditional wards in Mt. Carmel, namely the medical infirmary wards, the admission wards & acute wards, and the rehabilitation wards. Services are now being provided also in recently set up specialized wards including those providing care for drug abuse, learning disability, the Forensic ward ( where inmates from CCF with psychological disorders are treated), as well as wards dedicated to young adults and children. Patients are treated after referral from the Medical team from Mt. Carmel or indeed, from other sources such as Mater Dei specialists after ward discharge or out patient visits. 
 
The Physiotherapy services have also lately been extended to other  wards previously not under our care, namely Jean Antide, Dun George Preca and Santa Bernardetta wards. These were previously under the care of physiotherapy services provided by St. Vincent de Paul hospital.
 
Physiotherapy in a mental health setting gives a much needed physical dimension in caring for the mentally ill. A physical input not only benefits the patient's physical aspect but as research is constantly proving, an effective physical intervention can have a very beneficial and therapeutic effect on the mind.
 
Physiotherapy in mental health care is currently solely based at Mount Carmel Hospital. The physiotherapy complement there is made up of four physiotherapists and an assistant. Both in and out patients are treated. In-patients are either treated in their respective wards or in the physiotherapy department which consists of a gymnasium and a clinic.
 
The physiotherapist working with the mentally ill has a varied and challenging role to play. The population at Mount Carmel is ageing, therefore there are a lot of elderly patients. The elderly mentally ill tend to have many physical problems which greatly reduce their mobility and day to day functioning. Following a fall, say with a resultant fracture the physiotherapist has a key role in getting the patient functionally mobile again. .
Physical exercise classes are  planned to be introduced in various wards in order to help maintain a reasonable amount of physical function. The initiative stems from the fact that many patients in mental health wards are rather idle most of the day, and this is not conducive to the general well being of the patient, besides the fact that sedentary life brings to the surface other ailments and complications, such as eating disorders, circulatory illnesses,  & osteoporosis.
 
Physiotherapists work closely with other health care professionals because the mentally ill exhibit complex and diverse problems. Where necessary ward rounds are attended for particular cases undergoing physiotherapeutic intervention. Occasionally home visits are carried out in order to advise on physical adaptations needed in a patient''s house prior to discharge from Mount Carmel.
With regard to out patient services, the department also offers staff working at Mt. Carmel the facilities of services so as to avoid having to go to other out patient sources, cutting down in lost working hours and waiting time.
 
Apart from the more obvious role of rehabilitation, physiotherapists are crucial in giving specialist advice to management/administration and other mental health care professionals. For example, when purchasing specialist rehabilitation equipment for Mount Carmel Hospital patients, physiotherapists would be consulted as to which would be the most appropriate to acquire. ​