Rhian O'Halloran

Clinical specialist physiotherapist in MS
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Rhian O’Halloran trained at The Royal London Hospital in the 80’s and first dipped her toe into neurological physiotherapy in 1992 working at a variety of London Hospitals from acute work at The National Hospital to long term brain injury at the Royal Hospital for Neurological Disability, and here developed her interest in posture, positioning and spasticity management.

Running the neuro-outpatient department in Kingston Hospital she started joint clinics with the MS nurse and developed her interest in a multi-disciplinary approach to the management of Multiple Sclerosis. During this time, she completed a MSc module on Research Based Neurological Rehabilitation at St George’s Hospital.

In 2004 Rhian was an inaugural member of TiMS (Therapists in MS) and continues in this role.

Moving back to Wales gave her experience of setting up a Multidisciplinary Community Neurological Rehabilitation Team before settling as the Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist in Multiple Sclerosis in the Cardiff MS Team.

A further MSc Module in 2010 saw her become an Injector of Botulinum Toxin, a useful tool for working in the Regional Spasticity Clinic. Rhian gives regular talks on MS from a physio perspective and on spasticity management.

Rhian is a regular attendee at the MS Conference, and more recently a speaker on Exploring components of effective spasticity management: Translating evidence into coherent treatment, and Setting up a Sativex Service in Cardiff, and poster presentations on this and LEAP-MS. LEAP-MS is a published research study A web-based Life-style, Exercise and Activity intervention for People with Progressive Multiple Sclerosis: Results of a Single-Arm Feasibility Study she was PI on and passionate about particularly as it worked with pwMS with an EDSS from 6-8, an under studied group in the world of exercise and MS. She also presented this at RIMS. LEAP also uses the principles of self-management using the Bridges approach, which she has trained in.

More recently Rhian has been spending her time setting up a Fampridine service with a neuro-pharmacist, continuing her multi-disciplinary approach to working with pwMS. The future for Rhian is developing respiratory management in the world of MS. She is currently working on this with TiMS, and setting up a pilot project in Cardiff, so watch this space…