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Physiotherapy Works: help make the case for more physiotherapy

We’re asking you to share it with the rest of the world

physiotherapy-works-info1

Over the next three years the CSP will be working with members to make a really strong case for more physiotherapy.

With members’ help, the society wants to convince health and social care decision-makers and the wider public of something you know already - that physiotherapy works.

The article on the award-winning rehabilitation scheme in Bradford is just one example of how innovative members can be, given the chance.

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Why we're targeting older people. Image updated 30 Jan 2014

We know that many more of you are taking equally exciting steps to make a real difference for your patients, wherever they are receiving care.

But could you be making more noise about the fact physiotherapy works? Not just that physiotherapy works, but that it could really make a huge difference to people’s quality of life as they live longer, grow older, and may be living with long term conditions.

Nurses and doctors have no qualms about promoting their profession. Physio staff can do the same.

This is why we have launched the Physiotherapy Works programme.

The CSP wants more people to be benefiting from increased access to quality physiotherapy services by 2017, in both traditional and new areas of practice within the UK and across health and social care.

The overall objective is to promote cost-effective, quality physiotherapy services and to secure the future growth of the physiotherapy profession, including appropriately funded job opportunities in the public, private and independent sectors.

So we’re calling on every single one of you to play your part. We know you’re already doing wonders for your patients, and that many of you are already actively working to promote the profession.

This programme will enable us to harness our collective energy and skills to make an even stronger case for quality physiotherapy. CSP staff will be coming to talk to members over the coming months.  Find out more in our Q&A, opposite.

Q How can we do more to promote physiotherapy?

We have to convince many different audiences, all of whom influence the availability of physiotherapy.

We therefore have a range of products to get positive messages out to doctors; to help to convince decision makers that investing in physio saves money; and to encourage people to ask for physiotherapy.

Q What are we doing to influence GPs?

We’ve decided to use new ways to reach some of the key decision-makers: GPs.

We’ve placed advertisements in the GP media highlighting the evidence that physiotherapy works

We have also improved our website to ensure the information which GPs will find helpful is readily available.  

Q  What are you doing to influence decision makers?

We’re trying to make it easier for decision makers to commission good quality physiotherapy services.

We’re also looking to promote examples of services that help reduce falls, speed up the hospital discharge process, or offer rehabilitation in the community.

We’re also developing a proposal to show how physiotherapy can offer solutions in social care.

You’ll see full details soon on the CSP website.

Q What are you doing to improve public awareness?

In addition to the CSP’s ongoing work promoting the profession in the national, local and social media, we have improved the CSP website so that there is more information easily available to patients.

We have begun by providing free, downloadable advice for the public on ageing well, on avoiding trips and falls and on exercise.  See Ageing well

We’re also working with patient groups, such as Arthritis UK and the Stroke Association, to ensure the people that they represent are receiving appropriate information about what physiotherapy can offer them.

Q Why is there a focus on older people?

Our work this year will focus on promoting the role of physiotherapy in helping people to live well for longer and stay independent.

The programme will promote a range of other physio solutions in future years.

The UK has an ageing population (see infographics, right) and this means that there is a growing need for physiotherapy for older people across all specialisms, from MSK to neuro or respiratory.

There are huge opportunities for the profession to meet patient needs and to help save the NHS and local councils millions of pounds.

Anything we can do to help reduce the burden on already hard-pressed hospitals has to be a good thing – and our potential role is something decision makers need to know about. But we need to make a stronger case for physio’s role with older people.

Q Will this programme help all members of the CSP?

Yes. It’s about raising the profile of physiotherapy across the board, so that more patients can benefit from physiotherapy.

Members working in academia are also superb advocates of physiotherapy services and can use their authority and contacts to influence those in senior positions.

Retired members also have a role, acting as advocates for physiotherapy.

Q So what’s in this for me?

This is about promoting the profession’s long-term future, in the NHS, the independent, private or voluntary sector, or elsewhere.

Q How will this programme work across the UK?

The programme is promoting physiotherapy in all four countries of the UK. We are using examples of best practice from every country.

The local decision making structures vary across the UK, and our lobbying plans take account of that.

Q Why have you called it the Physiotherapy Works programme?

Isn’t that confusing it with the existing CSP ‘Physiotherapy Works’ briefing papers?

This programme builds on the evidence in those briefings. We want many more people to get excited about the evidence that physiotherapy works.

Q How can I get involved?

With your support, this programme will raise the profile of physiotherapy, raise your standing as a clinician and ensure vital services are funded to ensure a healthier population in the longer term.

Some members are already talking to their local Age UK groups about the role of physios in preventing falls. You could talk to your local GP about how physiotherapy could help their patients.  
Why not give them our Physiotherapy Works leaflets?

Or you could explain to your patients how physio can help them by using the free, downloadable information on the ‘Your health’ section of CSP’s website

Q What is one ‘take home’ message for now?

If you talk to just one person – maybe at the school gate or in a taxi – about the power of physio, you’re doing your bit to help the profession.

Where can I find out more?

Frontline and the CSP website will be bringing you more information on what you can do to support this initiative over the coming months.

You can read Sue Browning’s column on page 22 and check the news story on page 8/9. Or check out the resources on the CSP website: Physiotherapy Works 

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