Sarah Patterson with patient Ethan

Two Edinburgh-based paediatric orthopaedic physiotherapists were granted the opportunity to travel to America to attend a major annual conference, thanks to essential funding from the Sick Kids Friends Foundation.

Sarah Paterson and Pamela Holland, who work at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, received a £2,000 grant from the charity to enable them to attend and share their expertise at The Paediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America’s 12th International Paediatric Orthopaedic Symposium in Florida.

The Symposium is a unique four-day event regarding state-of-the-art and emerging paediatric orthopaedic care, which brings together leading Orthopaedic Surgeons from around the world. It features demonstrations, technical workshops and industry-sponsored satellite sessions to encourage the discovery of new insights and the integration of new techniques and tips for the care of children and young people.
Sarah has worked at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children for 18 years, and her main focus is on treating babies born with foot deformities and hip dislocations.

She was able to share her expert skill in hip dislocation treatment with some of America’s leading clinicians to try and help them boost their success rate of 60 per cent, to bring it into line with the 98 per cent currently achieved in the hospital.

Sarah said: “This was a wonderful opportunity to network with some of the world’s leading experts in Paediatric Orthopaedics and listen to them present, so I am very grateful to the Sick Kids Friends Foundation for providing the funding for my trip.

“It also confirmed that we continue to provide some of the best quality care available and allowed me to think about other treatment options.

“I also had the opportunity to discuss the success rate of our hip dislocation treatment with some eminent surgeons from the USA and was able to teach them what I do to try to improve their success rate, which was fantastic.”

Roslyn Neely, CEO of the Sick Kids Friends Foundation, said: “We were very pleased to be able to help fund Sarah and Pamela’s visit to the USA to network with other specialists and gain further expert knowledge in their field.

“As a result of the grants provided by the SKFF, children and young people’s lives are less interrupted by illness; they are less scared of hospital and have a positive experience. This is just one of the ways in which we achieve this.”

Last year, the SKFF awarded grants to enhance nine areas of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, including the bereavement suite and A&E waiting rooms. There were 48 grants awarded for comforts which included toys, technology such as DVD players or iPads, arts & crafts and the Beads of Courage programme. In addition, almost 20 pieces of equipment to improve the care of children were funded.

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