The World Transplant Sport are the largest national charity promoting active recovery for transplant recipients and increasing awareness of the benefits of organ donation.

Running for over 40 years, The Westfield Health British Transplant Games are a celebration of life.

Taking place in different host cities every Summer, the games see teams from hospitals across the UK come together to compete in a medley of sports. The 4-day event attracts around 1000 transplant athletes and more than 1700 supporters.

The Games are organised on behalf of Transplant Sport whose aim is to raise awareness of the need for organ donation, encourage transplant recipients to lead active lifestyles and show appreciation for, and remember, donors and their families.

A case study based on the ongoing partnership between PPS and the British Transplant Games.

What are The British Transplant Games?

The British Transplant Games is a multi-sport annual event involving approx 1500 athletes aged 5 and up from around the UK, all of whom have been given the Gift of Life through organ donation. It has been running for the past 45 years and aims to encourage those who have had a life-saving transplant to live a healthy, active and normal life, but also to show the public the benefits of organ donation and encourage them to sign on to the Organ Donor Register. The level of competition can be very high, but it also encourages people at all levels of skill and ability to come together and compete in a supportive environment where all have faced the same medical trauma and live with the ongoing effects of anti-rejection medication. Events cover a wide spectrum of sports: Track & Field Athletics, Swimming, Racquets Sports, Volleyball, 5-a-side football, Basketball, Cycling, Golf, Bowling, Darts, and children’s events.

“the Medical director was keen for us to utilise the system for ALL medical interventions, not just the therapy provision”

How did PPS get connected?

In 2017, former private practice owner and long-time PPS user Alison Bloxham got in touch to discuss a potential collaboration. Alison has been supporting the athletes and their families at the Transplant Games for over two decades and had been managing the events using paper notes up until this point. As a private practitioner, Alison was very aware of the vulnerabilities of a paper notes system and all of the pitfalls that come with having a non-centralised data recording system. She was also spurred on by GDPR to transform the way in which patient records were managed at the Transplant Games. With a clear knowledge of the needs of the therapy team, we discussed how PPS could meet their requirements. That first year, Alison and the team successfully used PPS at the games and our partnership has continued to blossom ever since, and as PPS has evolved over the years, so has our ability to provide an increasing level of support.

“The main functionality we use is the treatment notes and treatment episodes to produce comprehensive notes on treatment but also to provide data for research and analysis post-Games”

How does PPS support the team?

The main purpose of PPS at the Transplant Games is to provide a secure, yet easily-accessible data recording system for an ever-changing team that works across multiple locations and is used by multiple disciplines. Many of the athletes that compete in the games have been doing so for many years, so maintaining an online database of patient records is a necessity in order to provide the level of treatment continuity needed in this environment.

The therapy team have always used our online practice management software and in 2023, they began to use PPS Express, which allowed them to seamlessly access the system across multiple devices including smartphones and tablets, which was essential as they moved across different sites in the same day, easily taking their notes along with them.


Putting PPS into practice

At the games, the therapy team occupy an area where they set up beds alongside a ‘waiting/check-in’ area. A couple of non-clinical volunteers greet the athletes and take some brief details, including their name, the type of transplant and what treatment they require. The therapy team manage injuries and also offer sports massage prior to and following events. Each athlete that is seen by the therapy team is registered as a client in PPS where all of their essential details can be recorded, this is particularly important as the treatment provided can be influenced by the athlete’s medical history, transplant and any existing comorbidities, which are much more prevalent at this event than in a standard therapy setting. Using PPS gives the whole therapy team visibility on this crucial information, allowing them to safely provide treatment.


Managing the team

The games take place over several days and over those days, multiple events can be taking place simultaneously across different locations. In 2023, a record number of therapy team volunteers meant that Alison was able to split the teams into morning and afternoon shifts, providing some much-needed relief for the volunteers. Before the event, we set the team up with 14 concurrent users for their PPS Express account which, during the games, would be utilised by a team of up to 20 people. The way in which PPS Express access works, allows for a larger number of users without the need for the same number of access points, working perfectly with the shift pattern devised by the team and in private practice, this would allow a business to keep costs to a minimum without compromising on security.

Our concurrent user policy allows the team to set up an individual login for each member, including all of the student volunteers, too! Having an individual user for each member of the team is really important in any professional environment as it allows for security, auditing and user access controls. This feature was particularly important at this year’s games as the sports and exercise psychology team were also using PPS for their treatment notes. The access controls, along with the ability to make treatment notes ‘private’ making them accessible only to the practitioner that wrote them, allowed the sports and exercise psychology team to keep sensitive information securely recorded with confidence.


Customising PPS

For the duration of the games the therapy team is constantly on the go, the demand for treatments can ebb and flow depending on the events that are taking place and some events, like the donor run, can see huge influxes of athletes all at once, which is why it is vital that the team has a quick and easy way of recording all of their treatment notes. In order to facilitate this, we worked closely with the team to create several custom forms which allow each member of the team to capture data in an efficient and consistent format. The team provided us with their requirements and we built custom forms to match this, allowing them to use body charts and add annotations alongside free text notes. This year we added a form to allow the recording of a Standard Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) which allows the team to quickly and efficiently carry out a thorough assessment of the athlete before deciding on a course of action. Having access to the SFMA form during treatment also provides extra guidance for the student volunteers on how to approach an initial assessment.


Adapting to the environment

Due to the unpredictability of demand, we also introduced another essential time-saving tool to the team in the form of treatment note dictation, this allows anybody using PPS on a device with a built-in mic (think smartphone or tablet) to dictate their notes directly into their device where it gets automatically transcribed in the treatment notes section. The perfect tool for busy environments such as the treatments following the donor run, which this year saw a whopping 1,500 people take part!

Other vital features include the ability to facilitate multiple disciplines as the therapy team is comprised of a range of therapists from physios to psychologists and of course, providing a secure data storage solution that retains that treatment history year on year.

It is safe to say that the British Transplant Games is a unique event and one that we are continuously proud to be a part of. In supporting the team we are not only able to contribute to a great cause but to also get fantastic first-hand experience of how integral a powerful and functional practice management software can be to a dynamic team and it is this experience that enables us to continue to grow and adapt to the ever-changing private practice world.

We’d like to say a special thank you to Alison and Michelle who so kindly welcomed us to the 2023 British Transplant Games to see the therapy team in action. It is an experience that we are so very grateful for and one that we hope to be able to have again in the future.

“fantastic support from all of the team at Rushcliff”