The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

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Game plan

As the CSP turns its attention to the challenges of the coming year, Louise Hunt looks at the ongoing work in delivering improved services to members

Council recently agreed the priorities for 2009 that will drive forward the Society’s ability to support members at work through the considerable changes in health and social care that are currently underway across the UK.

CSP’s plan for 2009 includes a programme to improve engagement and communication with members. The Society’s aim is to step up work to support members in their efforts to influence commissioners and health boards at a local level on behalf of patients and the profession.

A programme of locally delivered workshops is being developed as well as more frequent up-to-date briefings on policy and planning developments in each of the four UK countries. New member networks will be developed in England aimed at giving members renewed opportunities to engage with the CSP and influence health services locally.

CSP’s union officers and network of stewards and safety representatives will continue their work to support members in their workplaces, and to negotiate on pay and conditions at  all relevant levels. 

For the first time, the CSP is extending its £5 million of professional indemnity insurance cover to CSP assistant members for their physiotherapy-related work.

This is in recognition of the rapid changes in the work of support staff. Also planned for 2009 is further development of the new Charting the Future project, which is supporting members in their career development. This will produce the first framework to cover the full range of physiotherapy roles by the end of 2009. Throughout the year members are encouraged to take part in the debate on the future direction of the profession through interactiveCSP (iCSP), the Society’s member networking website, and in focus groups that will inform the framework.

To support this work the CSP corporate website and iCSP will be updated with new content and improved search facilities. Members will shortly be able to receive a regular e-newsletter which will bring up-to-the-minute news relevant to members, and will highlight the new information and guidance available on the CSP website.

This year, as part of its advice and support services for continuing professional development, the Society launched a brand new, world-class CPD e-portfolio, PebblePad, free to all members.

The CSP will also be stepping up its recruitment and retention efforts, with a focus on expanding student, graduate and assistant membership. Another priority will be to explore potential new streams for income generation.

Council also heard that the CSP remains financially stable but does face challenges. Income fell in 2006 and 2007, while costs, particularly for services provided by external suppliers, are increasing due to rising inflation.

Members are therefore being asked to contribute a little more in subscriptions during 2009. CSP chief executive Phil Gray explains: ‘Like many organisations, the CSP is operating in a very challenging economic climate. During 2009 we want to continue to provide the wide range of services and benefits that we know members value.

‘However, while overall income to CSP dropped this year, costs are increasing. We have made substantial efficiency savings, reduced staff and kept costs down over the last four years, but we do need to ask members to contribute a little more – just £1.50 each month for most full practising members – in 2009. This will ensure that we remain highly active and effective on your behalf.’

All regional boards, and CSP Council, have endorsed this relatively modest increase. Members are reminded that tax relief can be claimed on CSP subscriptions. This will save £59 (20 per cent tax) each year for those on basic rate tax and £118 (40 per cent tax) for those on higher rate. Tax relief can be claimed back for the last six years. Many members do not currently make a claim – and could get at least a year’s free membership paid by the ‘taxman’ by filling out the claims form the CSP will be sending to all members soon.

During the Council discussion about CSP’s budget for 2009, it was reiterated that CSP’s membership subscription represented ‘excellent value for money’, when key benefits such as professional liability insurance, union membership and access to information services, such as iCSP and Frontline were considered.

Possible new income streams

The CSP is currently exploring new ways to increase income from courses and training.

The Society has also increased sponsorship support for Congress this year and is actively seeking new partners and sponsors.

Council agreed to explore a proposal to create two new membership networks that would offer limited access to CSP information services for non-CSP members as a means of generating more income.

CSP chief executive Phil Gray proposed that these could be for non-UK physiotherapists working and living overseas and allied health profession managers in the UK who are not physios. These categories could become known as ‘information networks’.

He suggested this could be a viable way to make the most of existing online services.

‘We now have the largest physiotherapy website in the world with the electronic library services that have just been launched. New ‘information network’ colleagues could pay to use these without having access to wider CSP representation or advice.’

‘It could generate substantial new income at comparatively little extra cost,’ Mr Gray said.

Council will now consider the implications of having new member networks and provide feedback for a revised paper to be decided at the December 2008 meeting.

For full information about the complete range of services and benefits available to members visit www.csp.org.uk

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