Time to ski

With Bonfire night safely out of the way it is time to turn our thoughts ahead to the winter ski season. Whilst some forecasters have predicted a harsh winter ahead for the UK in 2013, the Met Office recently took pains to stress that it is still too soon to produce an accurate forecast and accused those who are predicting “the worst winter in decades” of crystal ball gazing.

Whatever the outcome, UK winters are still too unpredictable to guarantee good snow leaving ski enthusiasts having to look elsewhere to get their skiing fix. This means that the annual exodus to the European slopes and further afield is about to get underway.

The first week in November has already brought a good snow covering to some alpine resorts, resulting in predictions of an early start to the season and no repeat of last year’s green slopes.  Hopefully the weather conditions will bring good safe skiing but whilst the majority will return safely from their adventures, there will be some who suffer on the slopes and need attention on their return.

It’s not surprising therefore that whilst eager skiers travel outwards, back in the UK physiotherapists and other health professionals are bracing themselves for a busy winter.  Broken limbs, strains and pulls are an inevitable consequence of skiing accidents.  Add in those whose year-round sedentary lifestyle has not prepared them for the physicality of skiing and chiropractors, osteopaths, and physiotherapists alike are an unforeseen consequence of a winter holiday on the slopes.  And if winter in the UK does turn out to be harsh then there will be an additional crop of home-grown injuries to treat.

Hopefully some individuals will have thought ahead, consulting health professionals for pre-ski exercise regimes which will prepare them for a holiday on the slopes. And hopefully some people (particularly the elderly or frail) will have prepared for icy conditions at home, stocking up on essential supplies or arranging for additional support perhaps from a neighbour or health professional. But many won’t be prepared and even if they are, it is impossible to guard against accidents. All this means additional demands on the services of health professions who in turn will need to gear up their timetable to run as smoothly as possible. This includes taking steps to ensure that the time given to treatments is maximised.

All this means that health professionals need to gear up their timetable to run as smoothly as possible.  Missed appointments not only means a lack of income but also another patient who will not be speedily treated.  Having to interrupt treatments to take phone calls means that treatment may not be as effective as it should be.  And if calls are missed then patients suffer and diaries are not as full as they should be.

The answer is to bring in the services of a virtual assistant.  With calls answered, diaries can be maintained as full as practicable without patent treatments suffering.  Add in an appointment reminder service and no-shows are reduced again helping diaries to be maintained at an optimum level.  Skiing can be fun, but when something goes wrong, a speedy return to fitness with quick and professional help is the best way to prepare for the next season on the slopes.

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