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Letters: 21 January 2015

This month's letters to Frontline.

Shedding a load

We’ve recently been issued with iPads in our community trust in Oxfordshire and I have been enjoying using mine for work. 
 
Having been used to carrying or dragging a huge bag everywhere I have now downsized to a small laptop case and have done away with my notebook, pens, address book and diary as I have it all on the iPad. I even have patient notes and referrals on a password protected app and can do away with taking a heavy pile of these around. I’m quite excited about this change to my working practice, not to mention the release of stress on the back, after 12 years of having to carry so much around. 
 
We can write notes on the iPad and they are transferred to our laptops automatically which saves time. We are also looking forward to getting our main patient application compatible with the iPad in the new year – so we can get access directly to notes and documents in the community and write up notes.Jessica Deguara

Source of pride

The therapies team at my trust felt the article on apprenticeships (page 24, 3 December) really captured the benefits of these programmes for departments, trusts, local communities and the apprentices themselves.
 
It also highlighted the variations in pay and potential disadvantages of these programmes.
 
At our trust we are pleased to report our current cohort of three apprentices have all being promoted to band 3 technical instructor positions after out-performing 15 other candidates. We are also very proud to report that one of our former apprentices is leaving her band 3 position to undertake an occupational therapy degree at Leeds University, in addition to another former apprentice having completed year one of his physiotherapy degree at Leeds University. As a result of these experiences we are increasing the number of apprentices in the therapy team as we have found it is the most effective way of recruiting local talent into the therapy professions. (Elizabeth) Caroline Brown, University of North Midlands NHS trust

Welcome news on Cuba

Last month I and a number of others from the CSP attended what has become an annual vigil outside the American Embassy in London calling for the release of Cuba’s unjustly imprisoned ‘Miami 5’. 
 
I don’t know whether our voices carried to the White House but a few days later, president Barrack Obama announced the release of the remaining three of the five Cuban men being held in US jails.
 
The campaign for justice for the Cuban people has not ended, however. The US persists in a devastating 50-year economic blockade against the poor but proud Caribbean island. So now more than ever we need to put pressure on the US, the UK and EU governments to reverse this unjust policy. 
 
Despite the most difficult conditions, Cuba has strived to ensure its people are well educated and are provided with a universal free public health service that is the envy of many Americans and – particularly in today’s climate of cuts and privatisation – Europeans.
 
Most members won’t be aware that the Cuban health service sent more healthcare professionals than the rest of the world to help deal with the Ebola crisis in west Africa. To find out more about the Cuba Solidarity Campaign, which the CSP supports, see here Louise Walker, head of stewards’ training

Let’s have a debate

To develop the debate around exercise that came to the fore at the end of last year, I propose the following questions which, if answered, could to used to formulate a useful exercise framework.  
 
Please add to or subtract from the questions and let’s take the discussion forward to produce some concrete physiotherapy guidelines:
  • how do you strengthen a muscle?
  • how do you stretch a muscle?
  • how do you teach an exercise?
  • how do you progress an exercise?
  • how do you increase the endurance of a muscle?
  • can you do all this by handing out generic exercise sheets?
Dr Simon Rouse, freelance practitioner

You’ve added...

A news item on the CSP website titled ‘Bury physios make I will if you will exercise pledge’ elicited several comment. Gillianrandall said:  It’s great how introducing healthier lifestyles into our own lives inspires others to see and feel how that could be for them. When 20 physios in Bury get together and pledge to do more exercise, and make some changes to their own fitness, it shows how we can be, as a professional group, looking after ourselves with more self-care. When we start with gentle exercise, like walking, it will definitely encourage others to realise they can do the same.  
 
CarolineMoss added: As one of those physiotherapists involved in having the healthy conversations, it is amazing how honest patients can be about how much exercise they do and what their barriers are without the conversation being ‘an elephant in the room’. I will be working in the next 20-25 years and I hope my patients in general at that time prioritise their own health as much as they do with work.
 
An article on in Frontline (page 29, 3 December) on record keeping elicited a comment from davidrm: There is an excellent, affordable software program, designed specifically for AWPs (but which can be amended to suit others eg OTs, podiatrists, midwives) which can keep records of treatment and produce data information for any given time period. This data report can then be emailed directly and securely from the program to whomever one chooses. This software, from medicaldatareporting.com can save hours of time and help to maintain accurate records.
 

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.

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