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In perspective - Physiotherapy works!

Sue Browning, CSP’s deputy chief executive, explains why a new programme to promote the benefits of physiotherapy is so vital

In a world of change and financial austerity, are you confident that, in the future, patients and the public will be able to access the full range of your skills and services?

The CSP believes in the profession’s future and that it is well placed to develop the physiotherapy role further.

But success will only come if the role of physiotherapy in modern healthcare is fully understood, with every CSP member – no matter where they work or what they do –  contributing in a bold voice.

The CSP Council has agreed to launch the first part of a three-year programme helping us to work together to achieve our aim: to increase the public demand for cost-effective, quality physiotherapy services.

Building on the success of our Physiotherapy works briefing papers, the Physiotherapy Works programme will initially focus on the needs of older people.

You need only look at the plans of UK health and social care decision-makers, available online, to see why a unified voice on the benefits of physiotherapy is of such crucial importance.

Many refer to supporting people with long-term conditions, keeping people fit for work, reducing the number of falls, providing early supported discharge from hospital, and promoting independence.

Physiotherapy has an important role to play in all these areas.

The challenge facing all CSP members is to help people – including clinical colleagues in other disciplines – to understand that physiotherapy can make a big contribution to meeting these local priorities.

We recognise that it’s a busy, competitive, tough climate with budgets getting smaller.

Developing quality services is not easy in an environment where saving money seems pre-eminent.

But we know that some of you are doing this well.

There are many innovative examples of patient care being delivered, new services being established and exciting improvements being made.

But more can be done to share learning and support others. We can work on this together through our extensive member networks.

As part of the programme, we will be coming out to your region and supporting you to get your voice heard.

At the same time we’ll be working with a variety of key stakeholders, such as Age UK, clinical commissioning groups, social care agencies and policymakers across the UK.

We already have a huge range of materials on our website and if these don’t meet your needs, please tell us!

So now, in this month of resolutions, is the moment for us to make a vow.

If each one of you vows to use opportunities this year to promote physiotherapy, just think what a difference our 52,000 voices would make!

Sue Browning is CSP deputy chief executive

Find out more on page 28

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