Attending the PMG Conference 2018 in Manchester was a great privilege, both inspiring and empowering: listening to professionals with years of experience and expertise; being able to meet them in person and asking questions I have been dying to ask for years. I really don’t remember blinking at all!
I was one of the first arrivals at the Speed Networking session on the Monday, where I immediately met people with the same interests; we continued to exchange ideas up to the Gala Dinner, and have kept in contact since the conference. Above photo of speed networking at PMG Conference 2018
Not a single moment of my time was wasted while in the exhibition hall - I visited all the companies, inviting many for demonstrations at our workplace following the event.
I found the Pitch your Poster plenary session on the first morning particularly exciting, providing as it did a taster of what was to be found in the poster display.
However, it was the session Postural support in lying; an expert consensus survey that I was most looking forward to attending. I have always been interested in postural management and I now work in a specialised unit providing slow stream rehabilitation for complex neurological conditions. With such complex issues as muscle tone, respiration, safety awareness and skin integrity, it is important that the patient has a 24-hour support system. This, however, presents many challenges, for example funding, finding the appropriate sleep system, training the staff and family, 24-hour carry over of the regime, and a tool to measure the outcome. In addition, there is no clear evidence of the benefits, nor are there guidelines.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends the use of postural support at night, but lacks robust evidence of its effectiveness (NICE, 2012). A recent review searching for evidence of the effectiveness of postural management for people with intellectual disabilities and impaired motor function reported that the lack of evidence for the efficacy of sleep positioning systems should be of urgent concern (Robertson et al 2016).
The survey by Ginny Humphreys, Tanya King and Jo Jex, and supported by the PMG research fund, relates to the development of a practice guide for clinicians and families. The team had sought a consensus of expert opinion on the way forward to strengthen the evidence of the potential benefits and risks associated with the use of sleep positioning systems for children and adults with a neuro-disability. The PMG membership were then asked to take part in two rounds of a Delphi survey, which would build further consensus, and enable a position paper to be presented for discussion and ratification at the PMG Conference 2018. As a result of the session, some minor changes or additions could be made to the paper under the editorship of the research team; a final position paper would be published in due course.
With all this in my mind, along with the rest of the things I learned and saw at the conference, I have never been so motivated and confident going back to my team. I shared everything I learned with them, and have encouraged them all to get involved.
I can't wait for the next PMG conference!
The practice considerations paper "Postural support in lying" can be downloaded here.