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David Cameron thanks physios and AHPs at No 10 event

31 October 2014 - 1:18pm

Prime minister David Cameron hosted an event to celebrate nurses, carers and other healthcare professionals to thank them for all their hard work.

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David Cameron chats with guests including COPD physio Helen Jefford (right). Mr Cameron and health secretary Jeremy Hunt recognised the challenges facing clinical practitioners

‘The health service is not about a bunch of buildings and bricks and mortar… in the end, that is about people, compassion, and vocation which is what we really care about when it comes to our health service so thank you for all the things you’re doing,’ Mr Cameron said.

Two physiotherapists invited to the evening at 10 Downing Street last month spoke to Frontline.

Louise McCahery, a physio at St Rocco's hospice in Warrington, has lobbied successive governments in support of the NHS and for improved palliative care services.

‘None of us knew what to expect at the event. Both Mr Cameron and health secretary Jeremy Hunt acknowledged the professionals in the room and the challenges being faced in the NHS.

File 136619Louise McCahery, physio at St Rocco's hospice in Warrington, and David Cameron

Ms McCahery said: ‘I had a long conversation with Mr Cameron’s private secretary about the role of physiotherapy in palliative care. I voiced my concerns about any qualified provider with lots of private companies picking up contracts.’

Also present was Helen Jefford, a COPD physio who has worked in tackling long-term lung conditions among prisoners.

‘We were delighted to be able to share our work with others by having the opportunity to network for two hours at number 10.

‘The PM emerged about an hour later and mingled with us all. I had a very brief chat about how tough prison healthcare was and I was impressed that he responded so positively.

‘David Cameron then went on to address us all and thanked us for all our hard work and apologised for the lack of money that was available to pay us what we deserved.

‘It was certainly an opportunity that I doubt I will ever get again in the future, and this is proof that if you think outside the box, challenge ways of working and have the passion to drive a project forward despite all the barriers, you can be thanked by the most important person in the country.’

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