Denise Watson-Tann

Denise Watson-Tann Horizon Fellow

Advanced Practice Physiotherapist in Paediatric Orthopaedics, Paediatric Therapies

Chelsea Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

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Biography: Denise is an Advanced Practice Physiotherapist in Paediatric Orthopaedics based at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. She has more than 35 years of experience in the NHS treating clubfoot and lower limb deformity in children, and has been practicing The Ponseti method for 20 years. She was fortunate to be able to visit Dr Ponseti in 2004.

Denise is the lead practitioner in the Ponseti clubfoot service at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital which specialises in treating complex feet. She is passionate about providing excellent treatment for children with clubfoot, which treats families from all over the UK and abroad as tertiary referrals. She is also involved in training healthcare professionals in Ponseti clubfoot management in the UK and abroad, and works with Global Clubfoot Initiative and STEPS worldwide clubfoot charities. Denise has also been involved in training and clinical development in: Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Belarus and Hungary and Myanmar. She was part of the British Children’s Orthopaedic Society (BSCOS) consensus group which develops recommendations for standards for Clubfoot treatment in the UK.

Horizon Fellowship project summary: Successful Ponseti clubfoot management relies on child and parental compliance, with a strict bracing routine for five years following correction. This can be very challenging for children and their families. Denise hopes to develop an app which will support and motivate children and their families to use braces successfully.

Estimated number of patients / staff impacted by the project: Denise hopes that use of the app will provide parental education, support and motivation, and reduce the time staff in clinic spend with each family during the bracing.

Goal(s) for time on the Horizon Fellowship programme: Denise would like to develop her skills and awareness of digital possibilities. She would like to create an app which is family friendly, informative and empowering for children with clubfoot and their families.