Former model and TeleVision presenter Katie Piper gave the Founder’s Lecture, while nearly 80 clinical experts spoke on subjects ranging from low back pain to service redesign.
The reports on these pages give a flavour of the event, and we’ll bring you more in the next Frontline.
Meanwhile, see additional coverage at: www.csp.org.uk/news
Many delegates were close to tears as they heard an inspiring speech from Katie Piper, who was attacked with acid aged just 24.
Ms Piper, who had acid thrown in her face by an attacker hired by an ex-boyfriend, gave the Founders’ lecture.
She told her story of recovery over the four years since the attack, which left her blind in one eye and with severe burns to her face and torso. Burns to her oesophagus made it impossible for Ms Piper to swallow.
‘I have decided I am no longer a victim,’ she said, explaining how she doesn’t want to be defined by the fact she is someone who is scarred by the burns.
‘I decided I was going to be a survivor.’
Specialist rehabilitation treatment only available in France was a huge help to her after initial treatment in London.
‘I received fantastic help from the physios at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.
They did all they could but when I got home it was up to my parents and there were just the outpatient appointments.’
Ms Piper gave the speech on her 29th birthday.
‘I felt pretty reflective while doing my make up this morning.
But I thought, it’s going to be so symbolic to be here in a room with health professionals like this,’ she said.
‘After the attack I thought I’d never see another birthday.
To be with you and share my birthday is incredible.
‘It’s because of people like you and the job you do that I am able to stand here before you today. It’s not just me it’s thousands of people who feel the same way.
‘If there are time you have a bad day at work, just remember that so many people are grateful to you.’
The Katie Piper Foundation, which she set up in 2009, is aiming to develop burns rehabilitation services in the UK.
The CSP has donated £6,000 to the Katie Piper Foundation rather than pay a speaker’s fee.
For more information see: www.katiepiperfoundation.org.uk