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Bridge of Hope wins major award for community-based physiotherapy for survivors of conflicted-related trauma

Picture: Michael Cooper

Overall Winners Advancing Healthcare Awards NI 2017 – Hazel Winning, Francis McMonagle, Irene Sherry, Jo Scott


A North Belfast health and wellbeing organisation, the Bridge of Hope, is the overall winner of the Advancing Healthcare awards programme in Northern Ireland, having also been the winners of the Seating Matters award for innovation and creativity.

Francis McMonagle, Msk Specialist Physiotherapist, Belfast HCS Trust and Irene Sherry Head of Victims and Mental Health Services, Ashton Community Trust, won the awards for their project to improve pain management and quality of life for conflict-related persistent pain.

As well as using traditional physiotherapy techniques, they employed mindfulness-meditation and Tai Chi to help manage mental health problems as well as physical symptoms. The judges said that the project showed that world class quality care does not need to be complex, describing it as an excellent example of how to challenge the status quo.

Francis and Irene received their awards from Seating Matters CEO, Martina Tierney, at the celebratory dinner at the Stormont Hotel in Belfast on Wednesday 18 October 2017, hosted by BBC presented Jo Scott.

This awards programme was instigated by the Department of Health in 2014, with the aim of encouraging innovation, team working, new ways of delivering care and the highest standards of practice.

Nearly 60 entries from AHPs and healthcare scientists from all over Northern Ireland were received. . Hazel Winning, AHP Lead Officer, Department of Health comments: ‘This year’s awards programme has shown so effectively how AHPs and healthcare scientists are contributing to improving patient care and to delivering quality services that our population in Northern Ireland deserve.’

Along with the Department of Health, the awards supporters include the Public Health Agency, Health and Social Care Board, the HCS Leadership Centre, Macmillan, Seating Matters, Belfast HSC Trust, Ulster University and many of the professional organisations. This awards programme for Northern Ireland is organised by Chamberlain Dunn, the creators of the UK-wide Advancing Healthcare awards for allied health professionals and healthcare scientists.

For further information, go to

Or call Alison Dunn on 020 8334 4500; [email protected]


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