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Student physio chairs Welsh student body

11 July 2013 - 12:14pm

A physiotherapy student has been elected as chair of the ‘voice’ of health students in Wales.

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Simon Carley-Smith plans to broaden membership and improve the health of future NHS staff - photo: Andrew Harvey

The Welsh Health Student Forum was re-established last year to allow health professions' students to work with policymakers and education providers to produce the best ‘educational experience’ for students.

Simon Carley-Smith, a second year physio student at Cardiff University, took up his post as chair of the forum earlier this month. During his year in charge, he plans to broaden membership of the forum and aims to improve the health of future NHS staff.

There are currently 48 student members of the forum, and Mr Carley-Smith’s goal is to sign up one member from every health course in Wales, which could see membership grow to more than 150.

His personal goal for his year in the chair is to provide better education on a healthy lifestyle for the students who will become the NHS staff of the future.

‘NHS staff are some of the sickest employees in the country, particularly in terms of musculoskeletal and mental health problems. At the moment there is very little education for health students in terms of lifestyle and diet’, he said.

‘We need to develop a culture where students, who will become NHS staff, begin to take responsibility for their own health - whether that’s diet, exercise, or work-life balance.’

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