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Top speakers

Steve Redgrave will give the Founders Lecture at Congress.

But this year’s event also boasts six other keynote speakers.

Congress promises another packed programme, with two new themes joining last year’s popular strands at the scientific conference.

Preparing for the 2012 Olympics and beyond has been introduced as a theme as it presents a timely opportunity to articulate physiotherapy’s role in the Olympics and its legacy, says Ann Green, Congress programme lead.

‘The programme is an opportunity to showcase how the profession will be supporting the games, and will include speakers from the English Institute of Sport, including physiotherapists. It will also look at how physios will have a key role to play in increasing public participation in exercise in the build up to the games and beyond,’ she adds.

The keynote speaker for this theme is Conor O’Shea, EIS national director, who will be talking about the role of the institute within the Olympics, Paralympics and the broader sporting landscape. He will outline the development of physios within the EIS, as part of its multidisciplinary teams of practitioners.


Mr O’Shea is a former Irish rugby union international player, who joined the EIS in June 2008 from the Rugby Football Union, where he had been director of regional academies for three years.

Education and leadership as a concept was intertwined throughout last year’s Congress and was so well received that the programme team decided it should become a theme in its own right this year.

‘Education is not only about undergraduate training, but how it applies in the workplace and in patient education,’ says Ms Green. The programme will include what is set to be a lively debate on ‘quality versus quantity’ in physiotherapy training.

Complex change

Rosalie Boyce, who is internationally recognised for her expertise on the management and organisation of allied health professionals, will deliver the keynote speech. Based at the University of Queensland, Australia, Dr Boyce will share her thoughts on how AHPs can build a sustainable future in times of complex change. She will stress the need to invest in developing forms of infrastructure to achieve greater influence in policy and organisational decision making. Dr Boyce began her career in dietetics and has been researching and publishing work on the transformation of the allied health professions for two decades.

Public health

Health, work and well-being returns as a theme because it ‘fits in with the future focus of the profession as part of the public health agenda’, says Ms Green. ‘This year there will be a very broad programme, covering not only weight management and exercise, but new topics such as body image, including anorexia and bulimia.’

The Scottish government’s chief medical officer Harry Burns is well placed to deliver the keynote speech. He is expected to talk about the underlying determinants of well-being and health outcomes, including the environment, socio-economic conditions and lifestyle, and to describe health service innovations that are addressing health inequalities in Scotland.

Mr Burns is directly involved in developing health policy in Scotland, including prevention, health promotion, health protection and harm reduction, along with having lead responsibility for clinical effectiveness and research. He worked for 15 years as a general surgeon and was a consultant surgeon at the Royal Infirmary

in Glasgow.

Broad vision

Musculoskeletal is always a popular theme and this year’s programme ‘will build on the success of 2008’, says Ms Green. ‘There will be quite a lot of breadth, with new speakers and some from last year who were particularly well-received.’

Paul Parker will give the keynote address on advances in battlefield medicine. Colonel Parker, who is consultant trauma and orthopaedic surgeon at Friarage hospital, Northallerton, is one of the most senior orthopaedic surgeons responsible for the military. He made headlines in 2007 when he warned how British troops wounded in Afghanistan were having to wait too long to be evacuated to field hospitals.

Motor impairment

The neurology theme, another Congress staple, will this year feature the stroke research expert Louise Ada, associate professor at the University of Sydney school of physiotherapy. Her keynote lecture will focus on the contribution of motor impairments to physical activity after stroke, followed by a talk on increasing practice by stroke patients as part of rehabilitation.

Respiratory care

The cardiorespiratory theme will cover all aspects of physio practice in the specialty, but a highlight of the programme will be the introduction of the first full set of evidence-based national guidelines for respiratory physiotherapy by keynote speaker and chair of the guideline development group Julia Bott (see story on the guidelines on page 6).

The Guidelines for the Physiotherapy Management of the Adult, Medical, Spontaneously Breathing Patient are the result of a collaboration between the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Respiratory Care and the British Thoracic Society.

‘I am keen that these guidelines are shared with colleagues, not only in respiratory care, but in women’s health, neurology and musculoskeletal,’ she says.

Ms Bott is a consultant physiotherapist in respiratory care at Surrey primary care trust and ACPRC president.

Change to Founders Lecture

Due to unforeseen circumstances Matthew Pinsent had to cancel and five-times Olympic gold medal winner, rower Steve Redgrave, has kindly agreed to give the Founders Lecture. 



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