Elmhurst Ballet School is reflecting on a successful first year of pioneering, tailoring and delivering a unique and bespoke healthcare provision for its young students in full-time dance training, The Young Performers’ Health Trust Scheme.
The offer, believed to be a sector first, allows the school to provide specialist healthcare which responds to the specific needs of its young dance students aged between 11 and 19.
If required, any of the almost 200 ballet students in the school’s daily care, will receive the most appropriate treatment in the most appropriate setting, and at the most appropriate cost.
A year ago, Elmhurst took the bold decision to step away from traditional healthcare providers who had not always had the capacity to meet the healthcare demands of young, elite performers. The school trains professional dancers and this level of dance specialism places extra physical and mental demands on its young students. Elmhurst needed more freedom to act swiftly in supporting injured students, better and quicker access to mental health support, and reduced administration and waiting times to allow its specialist in-house clinicians to provide the best care.
With the expert guidance and administration of HBC group, and Helix Health Services, which has been providing healthcare management solutions to clients since 1984 and 1992 respectively, the school developed and pioneered The Young Performers’ Health Trust Scheme and now controls its own healthcare offer with almost 100% of students’ parents signing up.
Annelli Peavot, Elmhurst Ballet School’s Assistant Principal responsible for Health, Wellbeing and Safeguarding, said: “Although there had been due diligence and careful planning, it remained a step into the unknown to develop our own Health Trust, but we are delighted to share the positive benefits we have found as a result. The costs to our parents has reduced as we have been able to move away from a policy excess. We are able to negotiate with our providers to get the best price for their services, and we have expanded the expertise within our team. There are now generous allowances for physiotherapy with this being more than doubled against that of traditional policies, and we have a fully funded specialist Adolescent Mental Health Nurse.”
Other benefits include outpatient investigations and treatment; outpatient consultations with an Elmhurst appointed GP; outpatient consultations with a specialist following an Elmhurst GP referral; outpatient diagnostic tests and investigations following specialist or an Elmhurst GP referral; outpatient physiotherapy – initial assessment and up to 10 sessions, up to the value of £500, when taken with the Elmhurst school appointed physiotherapist, following referral from the Health and Wellbeing Team; outpatient physiotherapy on specialist referral; outpatient preventative physiotherapy and sports massage; outpatient treatment with sports massage and acupuncture following referral from the Elmhurst Health and Wellbeing Team; MRI scans on an Elmhurst GP or specialist referral; hospital charges for outpatient surgical procedures; outpatient mental health cover; and costs towards parent accommodation.
Principal of Elmhurst Ballet School, Jessica Wheeler, said, “We are so proud of pioneering this product and what it has enabled our highly skilled Health and Wellbeing team to do. We have many more plans for developing the health care provision, and coupled with our innovations in injury prevention, this really is a good time to be a healthy dancer at Elmhurst Ballet School.”
Opened in 2016 by Carlos Acosta, international ballet superstar and new Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet from January 2020, the school’s state-of-the-art Health and Wellbeing Centre offers a wide range of services and facilities, including a purpose built physiotherapy and exercise suite. The centre is run by a dedicated team and includes specialists in paediatric and emergency nursing, sports and fitness, dance rehabilitation and sport massage. Additional services available to students include: injury management support; rehabilitation from injury; performance enhancement coaching; sports massage; chiropody; and counselling services.