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Letters - 7 May 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. Frontline reserves the right to edit your letters. Please ensure you include your name, address and a daytime telephone number.

Scottish question

The companies concerned with physiotherapists and other allied health professionals in Scotland are beginning to indicate what their strategies will be for the possibility of Scotland voting for independence.

I would welcome guidance from the CSP for the very many physiotherapists currently working in Scotland, or those who have worked in Scotland at some point in their career.

There has been very little information available for those trying to work out what independence might mean with respect to their career, pension and professional issues.

It is not clear, for example, that pensions currently supported by UK-based financial institutions will be determined on the same basis, and that professional issues such as Health and Care Professions Council and CSP membership and undergraduate training will continue unchanged.

It would be very timely and helpful to hear from the CSP what implications and strategies are being considered for those members who are affected by this fundamental vote which has enormous implications for all working in Scotland.  Kate Lough, Glasgow

The CSP responds: The CSP represents members throughout the UK, the Crown dependencies and internationally.

As an organisation we are non-partisan and do not take a view on whether or not Scotland should vote for independence.

However, we encourage CSP members in Scotland to engage in the debate and to pose questions about the impact each possible future for Scotland may have on the profession. For more information, visit: www.csp.org.uk/scotlanddecides

Two into one

Following consultation with the CSP and with the membership of both groups, two professional networks in the continence field are to join up.

The Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy (POGP) and Chartered Physiotherapists Promoting Continence (CPPC) have decided that a united approach to continence issues is the best way in which to approach future physiotherapy-led issues.

The principles and skills regarding the physiotherapy assessment treatment and advice for continence-related conditions was found to be the same for both networks and it made greater sense to form an alliance of experts to advise the CSP and other health professional groups, particularly when asked or invited to comment on government-led health initiatives.

POGP will be the single point of contact and CPPC will sit as a dedicated continence sub-committee (CSC), working in close relationship with, for example, the education sub-committee.

POGP will continue to provide education in the form of postgraduate courses, short courses and study days covering all aspects of pelvic, obstetric and gynaecological physiotherapy including male and female continence, therefore continuing the ethos of CPPC.  

POGP is committed to supporting professional colleagues through its education programmes, support networks and mentorship.

Other priorities include setting guidance and recognised standards of physiotherapy practice in this specialist field and providing information and advice to the public. Doreen McClurg, chair, POGP and Annette Woodward, chair CSC

Social media

The use of social media has exploded in the last few years, affecting people in both personal and professional capacities.  

CSP members can download the guidance below to start thinking about best practice in this rapidly-expanding area, including Twitter. Visit: www.csp.org.uk/publications/social-media-guidance

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The feature titled ‘3 minutes with  Philip Hulse,’ in the last edition of Frontline  prompted the following comment from Andrew Walton: Now is a good time to contact local authorities; they are at different stages of development but most seem to be established but looking around for ideas on how to deliver their objectives. Let’s get in there before the exercise professional community does!

A news item stating that physiotherapists are well placed to help reverse inactivity epidemic attracted two comments.

Jillian Scarisbrick said: As a physiotherapist working in paediatrics I agree we have a huge responsibility as well as many opportunities to influence all others involved. PE and physical activity has to be ’compulsory’ and monitored within schools. Emphasis is too much on literacy and maths – contained in a classroom. Many children are unable to focus and benefit from one and a half hours’ desk-time ‘doing literacy’.

I have recently convinced a few schools to take out small groups to do physical challenges – up to six at a time – usually those that are either disruptive or have motor skill needs. Just 20 to 30 minutes, as well as giving a well needed break it gives a chance to ‘get active’.

The children love it and return to the class enthused. A great experience I think all children would benefit from. Elements of literacy and maths can also be included – sometimes in a mode more easily understood by some children.

Sue Wilshaw added: I find it fascinating in the light of this information that Michael Gove has reduced the PE hours in secondary schools so that more time can be spent on core subjects.

That is all well and good if we did not have an obesity problem. My son’s (my son is a PE and maths teacher) school has had to make PE teachers redundant as the hours have been cut, yet the children are still expected to do a GCSE in PE.

Some children will only ever ‘move’ at school if their parents are ‘couch potatoes’. Ridiculous situation!

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