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ACPRC conference: Karen Middleton throws down the gauntlet to respiratory physiotherapists

2 May 2017 - 4:11pm

CSP chief executive Karen Middleton threw down the gauntlet to the Association for Chartered Physiotherapists in Respiratory Care (ACPRC) conference in York on 28 April saying it is up to physiotherapists to take the lead to ensure the profession is fit for the future.

ACPRC conference: Karen Middleton throws down the gauntlet to respiratory physiotherapists

Karen Middleton addressed delegates at the Association for Chartered Physiotherapists in Respiratory Care (ACPRC) 2017 conference in York 

After outlining the CSP’s corporate strategy, aimed at transforming, empowering and influencing, a delegate asked how the CSP is geared up for the challenges.

‘Who is the CSP?’ Ms Middleton asked back. ‘It is you. What we need is every regional and professional network to look at our national strategy and assess what you can all do. We have set the vision. If we all pull together this will be very powerful.’

She said it is crucial that physiotherapists adapt to changing populations with their changing customer needs, co-morbidities increasing with ageing groups, healthcare inequalities and increased demand for services.

‘In the past we worked hard to meet growing demand on services through additional resources - but that can no longer be part of the solution – there are no more additional resources,’ she said. ‘We have to find sustainable solutions to see us through the next 20-30 years.

‘It is important to be aware of the healthcare strategies in your area, so you can really understand and respond effectively to opportunities. But, these external challenges lead to opportunities for physiotherapy services working with patients with respiratory conditions, as we can really make a difference.’

Physios as the solution

She gave examples of opportunities to position physiotherapists as a solution, such as offsetting pressures elsewhere in the system and helping people to live longer and well.

The CSP, Ms Middleton added, is positioning physiotherapy at the leading edge of transforming health and social care and championing the evidence that physiotherapy is clinically and cost effective.

‘We are engaging and influencing healthcare leaders and policy makers. Much of this is unseen, but be assured it’s going on all the time. We are producing resources to support members and collecting case studies.

‘So, to remain relevant and sustainable as a profession - to be fit for the future - there’s a need to adapt, to provide services that are needed, not just the services we want to supply.

She urged delegates to share effective practice and innovation, support others by providing placements and consider influencing individuals, groups, private practice and clinicians in the NHS.

When asked from the floor, for tips for influencing, she said: ‘Look at what the influencers want and speak to the people they know if you can’t get to them. Third-party endorsement is very powerful. Using patients’ complaints, for example, will support your argument.

‘The bottom line is that physiotherapy has to adapt to be fit for the future,’ she added. ‘You are all here now because you care about your patients and this is what we need to do now, lead the way, to be able to help them.’

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