A woman wearing a red uniform giving a patient a booklet

King's Prehab and Rehabilitation Service

Published: 12 October 2021

In this blog Shana Hall talks us through how they developed their prehabilitation and rehabilitation offering at King's College London.

Shana Hall Specialist Physiotherapist, King's College London

The initiative

We set up a new service providing prehab pathways and a rehabilitation service.

This included:

  • rehabilitation pilot project for colorectal surgery at our local south site district general hospital

  • prehabilitation mixed model telehealth service for pancreatic surgery and bone marrow transplants

  • Outpatient referrals for our local King’s Cancer population – so anyone outside of these tumour cancer groups could access rehabilitation.


What we did

  • Whipple surgery - this addressed malnutrition, helped patients maintain a healthy weight and to remain active before and after surgery. Patients were referred to their local services to support them throughout chemotherapy.
  • Bone marrow transplant – this offered patients the chance to meet a physio and or dietician before their transplants. Improved patient’s quality of life throughout their treatment by helping them to rebuild strength, reduce pain and maintain a healthy weight.

Impact and outcomes

  • Reduced post-surgery admissions within 30 days for colorectal cancer patients from 15% to 5%.
  • Reduced anxiety, increased physical activity and improved quality of life for all prehab patients.
  • This new service has allowed patients to access the exercise referral schemes directly without going through their GPs.
  • It has opened up an opportunity to provide cancer teaching for other Allied Health Professionals in the Trust and raise the profile of AHPs in cancer care.

Future aims

  • To fill all the job roles within the team. This includes: a specialist physiotherapist, dietitian, occupational therapist, and rehabilitation assistant.
  • The team are currently analysing data about how prehabilitation in whipple procedure surgery and bone marrow transplant affects the length of stay in hospital. This includes looking at how quickly bone marrow patients were able to leave hospital after engrafting after a transplant, ICU admissions and complications after whipple procedure.
  • To evaluate the use of a prehab app in collaboration with the lead anaesthetist in pancreatic cancer.
  • To develop exercise classes to support the local cancer population remaining active during cancer treatment.

Find out more

You can contact Shana Hall by emailing shana.hall1@nhs.net.

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