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NHS reforms and pensions take centre stage at physios Liverpool conference

CSP press release published on 4 October 2011

London Bombings survivor Gill Hicks gives keynote address

Nearly a thousand physiotherapists from across the UK will gather in Liverpool on 7 and 8 October for their annual congress, with the Coalition Government’s proposed reforms of the NHS and changes to public sector pensions likely to be hot talking points.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s (CSP) Annual Congress and Exhibition at the BT Convention Centre presents an unrivalled opportunity for physiotherapists to find out about the latest best practice and research and to get up-to-date information about the changes and developments facing the profession.

With the NHS facing the biggest reorganisation in its history, this year’s CSP Congress is likely to be dominated by discussion of the future of the health service. The CSP is concerned that the Coalition Government’s plans will lead to rationing, meaning a poorer service for patients, and an increased risk of competition in the NHS, leading to fragmented and destabilised services and a postcode lottery. Meanwhile, with NHS pensions under threat the CSP is consulting with members about a possible ballot on industrial action over public sector pensions.

This year’s keynote speaker Gill Hicks MBE, who survived the London bombings, will reveal the crucial role physiotherapy played in helping her recover from losing both legs in the terrorist attacks.

Gill has since gone on to found a charity, MAD for Peace, which aims to create a world where violent extremism is ended; become an ambassador for Peace Direct and carry the Olympic torch in Canberra in 2008. She says: “Every step I have taken – both physically and symbolically – I have done because of the belief, the dedication and the greatest of care and empathy given to me by a brilliant physiotherapy team.

“Equally, I am alive because of the brilliance of the many who work for the NHS. I received and continue to receive expert care, something that I never take for granted.”

Ann Green, the chair of the CSP, said: “This is a difficult time for many working in physiotherapy. The changes in the NHS mean there is a great deal of uncertainty, both on the future of physiotherapy services in England and about the impact these changes will have on quality of care for patients. Our Congress is a chance for physiotherapists and associate physiotherapists to discuss what’s happening in our profession and to find out about new ideas and innovations.”

Other speakers at the CSP’s Congress include:

  • Barry Franklin PhD, from William Beaumont Hospital, in Michigan, USA, who will be talking about how exercise is key to tackling many of the killer diseases caused by modern, sedentary lifestyles.
  • Chris Worsfold, from the Kent Neck Pain Centre, in Tonbridge, who will explore how complicating factors like post traumatic stress reactions can impact on whiplash injuries.
  • Elaine Hall, from University College Hospital Galway, Ireland, who will reveal the findings of her study into the affect of walking in rocker bottom shoes on people’s heart rates.

The event also includes an extensive exhibition, with over 50 stands featuring physiotherapy equipment and service suppliers, publishers, recruitment agencies and much more.

Among them will be NHS Employers, who are launching a new campaign to encourage physiotherapists and other health professionals working in the NHS and their families to have flu jabs in order to protect their patients from seasonal viruses.

CSP vice chair Helena Johnson will show her support by becoming a “Flu Fighter” on the NHS Employers stand in the CSP Congress Exhibition Hall at 1pm on 7 October. Photographers are invited to attend.


For further media information and details of events please call the CSP press office on 020 7306 1111. Out of hours please call Becca Bryant, head of press and PR (job-share) on 079172 40819, Jon Ryan, media and PR officer on 07917 091200 or Paul Marston, media and PR officer, on 07966 994141.


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