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Continuing our profiles of winners of the 2020 Occupational Health & Wellbeing Awards, we look at physiotherapy provider Bespoke Wellbeing, which successfully rose to the challenge of Covid-19 lockdowns last year by embracing a virtual physiotherapy model, an adaptability that led to it, along with the charity The Advocacy Project, winning “Best musculoskeletal initiative” .
The forced experiment of pandemic-related home working may, for many of us, have meant some 18 months of no commuting and/or no need for a smart work wardrobe anymore. Less positively, it led to the tyranny of back-to-back Teams/Zoom calls, a blurring of home and work life and fuelled a sharp rise in musculoskeletal problems for many workers, especially those working from unsuitable workstations or in cramped home conditions.
Studies have suggested a rise in back, neck or shoulder problems during the pandemic as well as musculoskeletal problems generally. In turn, given the fact employers and employees alike have had no option but to engage digitally, we’ve also seen a sharp rise in demand for online physiotherapy services.
One physiotherapy provider that successfully adapted to this shift during the pandemic was Bespoke Wellbeing. How it rose to the challenge of managing this almost overnight transition, alongside the charity The Advocacy Project, meant they were named “Best musculoskeletal initiative” in the 2020 Occupational Health & Wellbeing Awards.
Bespoke Wellbeing was started by former NHS occupational physiotherapist Clare Henson-Bowen in 2014, initially working out of a rented room in London’s Covent Garden half a day a week. By the time the pandemic hit in March 2020 the service was operating out of four central London clinics and working with an array of employers, OH and HR teams and case
Nic Paton is editor of Occupational Health & Wellbeing, within OHW+. One of the country's foremost workplace health journalists, Nic has written for Occupational Health & Wellbeing since 2001, and has edited the magazine since 2018.