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Letters: 6 August 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.

Winning ways

As a former small business owner, I have attended many networking events ‘Do what you do best: just keep talking’ (page 21, 2 July).

Networking can expose us to some great continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities and be a way to highlight the ‘added value’ of physiotherapists to others.  Here are some networking tips which I have found useful:

  • the real goal of networking should be to help others. This is what physiotherapists do best and if we can create a ‘win-win’ situation out of each encounter, then all the better
  • it is much more important to understand the other person’s needs before you tell them about yours. if you are trying to develop a relationship with someone, establish what’s important to them, what common ground you have and then you can work out how you can both benefit from pooling ideas.
  • try to introduce others who may be able to help one another. Connecting like-minded people to achieve their goals is a powerful way of enhancing your network.  By providing something of value, hopefully the favour will be returned.
  • don’t leave networking to chance. Be proactive.  Consider your goals and what you want to achieve, attending events outside your own profession either at work or within the community which interest you (such as clinical commissioning group consultation events).  If you can’t attend, check out the write-up afterwards to see who is doing what. You may be able to contribute, share ideas, or reflect on service delivery changes that could benefit your practice.

Like anything, the more you put into networking, the more you are likely to get out of it!    Deborah Bancroft, advanced physiotherapy practitioner, Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

‘Outstanding’ CSP help

I have been a member for 28 years and never had a reason to access your industrial relations support.

I am now a senior manager for an NHS commissioning organisation and was recently falsely accused of bullying and harassment by a member of staff.  This devastating blow left me worried and upset. Staff wellbeing, happiness and development has always been a high priority for me.

It was so reassuring to make contact with the CSP union services, and from the outset I felt reassured that my predicament was understood and I was well supported.  The level of understanding of my situation, the practical considered advice I was given and the representation at difficult interviews and meetings was outstanding.  It was so reassuring to have someone who was there with my best interests in mind, and who always had time to talk to me, even if that meant going over things  again and again.

The outcome has been that the bullying and harassment claim is unjustified. It has been a horrible ordeal, but I have learnt a lot; not least that when you’re in a work-related tight spot, the CSP will be there for you.
Name withheld at member’s request.

Plea for compassion

I read the ‘Made to measure’ article with accompanying image of a man being measured with tape measures with some despair (page 16, 16 July).

Pain is not something that should be depicted being physically measured and categorised.  I only hope that the new treatment model being devised by the Keele University team to assist GPs with timely referrals does indeed ‘set the right tone for a dialogue between the patient and the GP’ as mentioned.  

I came out of the profession this year due to injuries and persistent pain – after only 22 years as a physio working in various fields.  However, the disappointment I experienced being managed/treated effectively by my GP and physios was such that I gave up my hopes of being seen as a whole person and ever wanting to get back into a profession I represented.  Self-development needs to as much about those core qualities of being vulnerable oneself and cultivating a quiet mind if one is to be of true service to those in need of treatment/support. Name and address withheld

What’s in a name?

I recently qualified as a veterinary physiotherapist from Hartpury College, near Gloucester, through the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy (ACPAT).

I am saddened to realise how many people, professionals and non-professionals, are unaware of the extent of training we have gone through. 

In the UK, even though the title ‘physiotherapist’ is protected by law, as soon as any word precedes the title, it is no longer protected.  This means that anyone can call themselves a ‘veterinary physiotherapist’ leading to the establishment of many new courses teaching ‘veterinary physiotherapy’ to people with no previous physiotherapy experience.  Unlike the ACPAT courses, these courses are not supported by the CSP, meaning that the quality of training, even at MSc level, is not suitably accredited. 

The two courses accredited by ACPAT have been through a strict CSP accreditation process. These are only open to CSP members.   ACPAT is lobbying for the title of veterinary physiotherapist to be protected and is getting closer to achieving this! Visit ACPAT  Maxine Cooch, ACPAT education officer

Corrections and clarifications

The correct number for the Birmingham Crisis Centre is: 0121 507 0707 (‘Tackling abuse’, 18 June 2014).

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Commenting on an article titled ‘Made to measure’ in the last issue of Frontline, clgrm1 said:

  • Hopefully with the CSP’s efforts and the excellent work coming out of Keele – the clinical and economical case to have physios as first contact clinicians in GP surgeries – can be championed. Patients receive better, more appropriate care and the GP recruitment crisis is solved. Nadine Foster for physio of the year? She gets my vote!

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