Hashtag TransformEmpowerInfluence

Are your patients’ experiences the best way to promote your services? How else could you help the CSP push physio up the agenda? Catherine Pope, CSP chair, looks at some options

by Catherine Pope

Last month we launched the new CSP strategy for 2017-20, ‘Transform, Empower, Influence”’. In her latest In Person column Karen Middleton explains the purpose of the strategy. This is the plan for how we will deliver our vision for physiotherapy to transform lives, maximise independence and empower populations.

I have received lots of positive feedback about the strategy. This is great to hear, but it would be very easy to be complacent. A strategy is not only something to pin on the wall or read on the website. Nor is it intended to be a self-explanatory handout to give to people you are hoping to influence. It’s meaningless unless we actually do the things it asks of us, maybe even change the way we behave and really make a difference.

So what I’m really interested in is how you are using the strategy and what impact is it having? Here are some suggestions to get you started.

I was recently in Belfast for a CSP Physiotherapy Works event at Stormont. Leaders and managers in Northern Ireland had invited a number of patients to speak so that politicians, civil servants and decision makers could hear first-hand how physiotherapy had transformed their patients’ lives.

I think we forget, as physios, how powerful these stories are because we hear them every day. They are no longer extraordinary to us.

This audience was spellbound to hear how Rachel Anderson recovered from a serious car accident and multiple injuries to walk down the aisle at her wedding 20 months later and is now back at work as a children’s nurse. Fred Rogers spoke really candidly about the problems he had with faecal incontinence following surgery for bowel cancer. Until he was referred to physiotherapy he was virtually living his life within three feet of a toilet and had withdrawn from friends and family. Now he is a powerful advocate for physiotherapy and male incontinence problems.

To hear these stories from the people who have lived them truly sings the evidence that physiotherapy works – how we really bring life to years. Maybe working in partnership with your patients could also be a more effective way of getting your messages across and bringing the evidence to life?

But you don’t have to organise a big event. Last week I was at Central Manchester University Hospitals. They have created several advanced practitioner roles that really push the boundaries of practice. Now they get approached to create more of these posts as they have proven so clinically effective and help save money too. Brilliant examples of physiotherapists transforming, empowering and influencing.

Meanwhile University of Nottingham students used the strategy as their hot topic of the week to explore where they transform, empower or influence in their clinical and academic practice for their professional portfolios.

So my challenge to the membership is how are you going to deliver our strategy so that together we can achieve our ambitious vision for physiotherapy? And, more importantly, tell the rest of us about it so we can all be inspired by your success.

Let’s all #TransformEmpowerInfluence!

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