Simon’s European scholarship journey

Rocky Bay Physiotherapist, Simon Martelli, was the recipient of the 2019 scholarship from The Rocky Bay Foundation, which saw him embark on a study tour of Norway and Belgium in May.

The Rocky Bay Foundation Scholarship offers Rocky Bay staff a unique professional development opportunity to learn best-practice methods and new approaches by visiting organisations in Australia and overseas.

Simon visited facilities in Norway and Belgium to observe and participate in neuromuscular service provision, including physical rehabilitation, respiratory care and equipment prescription and education. He also observed evidence-based neuromuscular practices, networked with professionals in the neuromuscular field, and gained insights that can be used to improve and expand Rocky Bay’s services.

Beitostølen Helesportsenter – Beitostølen, Norway

Simon spent a week at Beitostølen Helesportsenter, which supports intensive therapy in group-based sessions. Customers participate in activities and exercise programs aligned to their particular goals, and are provided effective holistic rehabilitation in a fun environment so that they are able to continue to participate as actively as possible in the community.

Some of the activities offered include bike riding, horse riding, circuit training, dog sledding, hydrotherapy, school and meetings with social workers or doctors.

“I was pleasantly surprised with the supportive nature of all the customers in the group,” Simon said.

“Everyone was very accommodating when it came to mobility exercises for those in wheelchairs, and it was a very motivating seeing customers engaged and performing optimally to reach their goals and personal bests.”

Inkendaal Rehabilitation Hospital – Vlezenbeek, Belgium

One of the leading facilities in Europe when it comes to the care of customers with neurological and neuromuscular conditions who also experience respiratory issues, Simon chose to visit Inkendaal Rehabilitation Hospital to work with Dr Michel Toussaint, one of the world’s leading physiotherapists in the field of respiratory care amongst neuromuscular patients.

Simon worked with Dr Toussaint’s team to learn about the equipment they use in their treatments and understand the different methods in respiratory care, including the use of Intrapulmonary Percussive Ventilation (IPV) treatment, a machine that helps to ease respiratory issues.

Simon said the hospital placed a huge importance on rapport building between staff and patients during sessions.

“It was lovely to see the families and therapists laughing and creating a jovial environment whilst still providing a high standard of care,” added Simon.

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