Elmhurst Ballet School pioneers ‘The Young Performers’ Health Trust Scheme’

Elmhurst Ballet School, the Birmingham-based vocational school in association with Birmingham Royal Ballet, is reflecting on a successful first year of pioneering and delivering a unique and bespoke healthcare provision for its young students in full-time dance training. The Young Performers’ Health Trust Scheme is now controlled as its own healthcare offer with almost 100% of students’ parents signing up.

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. Benefits include outpatient consultations, investigations and treatment; outpatient physiotherapy; sports massage; MRI scans on an Elmhurst GP or specialist referral; hospital charges for outpatient surgical procedures; outpatient mental health cover; and costs towards parent accommodation.

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.

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.