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Letters - 17 September 2014

Get involved now by sending your contributions by email to talkback@csp.org.uk or write to Letters, Frontline, 14 Bedford Row London WC1R 4ED. Letters should be no more than 250 words and Frontline reserves the right to edit your letters. Please ensure you include your name, address and a daytime telephone number.

Head Injuries

I read the item on physios and head injuries in football (page 10, 3 September).

The new set of rules is really positive, not just in terms of protecting the player, but also in protecting the medical professionals.

I used to work in sports physiotherapy: I was head physio at a Football League team’s centre of excellence. I ruled out an under-16 player who had concussion on the Friday before a weekend game, only to come in on the Monday morning to find that he had been played on the Saturday.

I said to the football coach (who was also centre of excellence manager): ‘If he doesn’t play and you lose, you lose the game. If he plays and something happens to him, I get struck off and lose my licence.’

This is a really positive move. It’s important that we protect the player, not just in the immediate and short term, but also their long-term welfare. And the medical professionals are the best people to make the decisions. Saul Stern

Complex issue

Thanks to Lynn Eaton and the Frontline team for publishing Janet Wright’s article on domestic violence (18 June).  A motion was passed at last year’s annual representative conference requesting more information for those having to face domestic violence. The CSP on its resource page now has a link here.

My husband and I have had contact with the biggest refuge in the Midlands for 30 years. All aspects of domestic violence are different and complex. The children of domestic violence need specialised help. It is good to know that our profession is taking steps to help. It could be a colleague, a patient or you. Lyn Ankcorn, honorary secretary, CSP retirement association

Present and connect

I read with interest Karen Middleton’s article in Frontline (6 August).  This mentioned the energetic interaction between people and how it affects the dynamic of relationships, even mentioning the ‘e’ word ‘energy’.

Members of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Energy Medicine (ACPEM) strive to bring mindful presence to each interaction; reflecting on the impact whether social, therapeutic or on other aspects of our professionalism. We have always aimed to be ‘present’ as we treat – recognising the therapeutic effect of focus and intention on therapy outcomes which has a developing evidence base.

Well done Karen for bringing the energetics of an interaction to the fore:

  • creating ‘presence’
  • being ‘present’
  • taking notice
  • listening attentively
  • don’t speak for the sake of it
  • think about the language you use (verbal and non-verbal)

If you come into contact with someone who ‘sucks the life out of you’ try to replace the old concept of ‘heart sink’ with a gentler, more empathetic interpretation.  In ACPEM we believe in ‘heart sync’. Carol Robertson, press relations officer, APCEM

Dyslexia matters

Your article on dyslexia (page 22, 5 September) highlighted how important early identification and intervention is for those with dyslexia.

It also recognised that while people with dyslexia may struggle with areas such as literacy, they have other highly valuable skills to offer. The level of support that people with dyslexia should receive is important and the British Dyslexia Association (BDA) has been campaigning to have dyslexia awareness a compulsory part of initial teacher training so that those in an educational setting are empowered to support people with dyslexia.

With increased awareness those with dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties have a better chance at achieving their full potential.

  • Dyslexia Awareness Week (3 to 9 November) plays an important part in raising awareness. Information packs will be available from: www.bdadyslexia.org.uk in late September.  To join the mailing list or find out more contact: media@bdadyslexia.org.uk Kate Saunders, chief executive, BDA

You’ve ADDed...

A news item titled physios to be paid same £180 fee as GPs for whiplash reports (page 15, 3 September) prompted several comments, including this anonymous one: Those physios working in this field will be familiar with the resistance of many in the legal profession to instruct our profession over GPs.  And perceptions are even poorer among many of the agencies used by national firms.

And the fixed fee of £180 is, in my opinion, not sufficient when dealing with chronic whiplash injury claimants.  These patients require comprehensive subjective and objective examination, a full review of their medical records, and an evidence-based medical report which needs to be watertight should a claim progress to trial.  Incidentally, fees have also been fixed at £80 should the opposing party have any questions for you based on your report – again, not sufficient where those questions require any significant legwork.

Janet Wright’s article on domestic violence (18 June) led one CSP member to comment on a personal experience : For years I’d kept it hidden but in the end it was my colleagues who had the confidence to challenge me about my home life. If they hadn’t asked such direct questions I would have continued to cover it up. Not only this but they went out of their way to surround me with friendship, care and support as well as the practical things like making sure I had somewhere to go.

They listened, without passing judgement. They let me make my own mind up about what to do and my own time scales. But made sure I knew they would help me with anything I needed.

When the time came, my manager allowed me to take time off at late notice, one colleague took time off to help me collect my few belongings from home, and my supervisor let me lodge with her for 10 months until I had the confidence to move on.

Leaving my abusive relationship also meant leaving my home, joint friends and church. Work was my one constant, and I am so grateful for the support I had from my colleagues, that I wouldn’t/couldn’t have had from anywhere else.

Even now, nearly a year on it still affects me in the workplace –flashbacks often happen in the trusts mandatory training sessions (lone worker safety, etc) which can catch me off guard, but the team have been great at supporting me and are more aware now of things which may cause me difficulty.

Karen Atkinson commented on the article on dyslexia (page 22, 3 September) I have supported many many students with dyslexia and generally speaking, when all parties work together, the communication is good and effective support put in place then study and placements are really successful.

I would really encourage students to disclose any particular issues they may have which could affect their performance. This is fine if they know what these issues are. If diagnosis is recent, however, understandably they may not know how their dyslexia might affect them or indeed what reasonable adjustments they require.

This is where the role of academic staff is crucial. They are in the best position to talk to students, particularly prior to placements. All academics will have had experience with students who have dyslexia and will have ideas and recommendations they can make. But the most important factor is supporting the student in the process of disclosure and facilitating communication with clinical educators.

Most clinical educators I have worked with are really keen to support disabled students effectively. Inevitably, however, they feel at a real disadvantage if a student, who needs reasonable adjustments, arrives on placement and they don’t know about it. My key piece of advice would be - talk to each other (in advance!)

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Article Information

Author(s)

Various and Frontline Staff

Issue date

17 September 2014

Volume number

20

Issue number

16
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