2020 How was it for us?

We take a look back at the past 12 months and celebrate some of our profession's achievements

2020 Review
2020 Review: How was this for us? [image Rose Llloyd]

We take a look back at the past 12 months – a  year of unprecedented challenges that has also seen some momentous achievements for the CSP and the profession .

Charter centenary

2020 marked a hundred years since the CSP was granted its royal chartered status by King George V. The centenary provided an opportunity to highlight how the physiotherapy profession is moving forwards and building on the legacy of the last 100 years. 

While real-life celebrations were curtailed by the pandemic, the centenary was marked throughout the year with Frontline stories, and activities exploring how lessons from the profession’s past successes can be applied to present challenges and future goals.  Here’s to the next 100 years.

Responding to the pandemic

While no-one could have predicted the impact of the pandemic, the response of physiotherapy staff working on the frontline, including the treatment and rehabilitation of patients arriving at intensive care units across the country, has been phenomenal. 

Since February, the CSP has been supporting members with guidance, resources and information, including – at various times – a seven-day enquiries service, a coronavirus resource hub on the website, daily email briefings, virtual training for reps and various webinars for different groups of members. 

Our Frontline Extra supplement showcases some of the achievements and innovations of the CSP and members in responding the pandemic.


With the planned conference in Birmingham unable to take place this year, Physiotherapy UK went virtual. vPUK was a great success. 

The CSP conference had a full programme with keynote speakers, focused symposia, networking discussions, and poster presentations. There were also opportunities to network among the 1,300 delegates and to visit stands and displays at the virtual exhibition hall. 

Equality, diversity and inclusion 

Our commitment to supporting equality, diversity and inclusion, and opposing discrimination has stepped up this year, in response to global events including the BlackLivesMatter campaign. 

We have prioritised work with members and staff to widen access to opportunities and initiatives and have started work on a new equality, diversity and inclusion strategy that reflects that commitment.

In July chair of council Alex MacKenzie issued a call to action to members to confront and outlaw racism. 

Writing in Frontline, she said: ‘As one of the leaders of our profession I believe this is our time to stand up and be counted alongside our BAME colleagues and patients. 

To look at our own actions and ask: are we being part of the solution or are we perpetuating the status quo?

It won’t be easy, but we need to stand with our BAME colleagues and patients to change the processes, systems and our own biases to create a society that truly values all lives equally.’


During 2020 CSP has been leading a campaign to address the urgent need for members to think differently about practice placements and create more capacity for quality learning opportunities. 

We have been reminding physiotherapy workers that placement learning can take many forms and be in many places. 

Chartered physiotherapists have a vast array of skills, knowledge and expertise that can be shared to support student learning in all settings, and support workers can be a valuable part of the team providing supervision. 

To help raise awareness, we challenged CSP members on Twitter to share their best placement experience and had a fantastic response with many members reminiscing about their student days.

Support workers resources

Work to promote the value of support workers and widen opportunities for them to develop and influence culminated in the launch of Thinking Differently About Support Workers, a short film developed in collaboration with Health Education England showcasing the important contribution of the physiotherapy support workforce to the profession.

Earlier in the year we published new resources to influence support workers’ development. Our professional body guidance ‘Optimising capability in the support workforce’ outlines how support workers might achieve the capabilities to work at a variety of practice levels and progress in their careers. It also serves as a framework to guide the development of support worker roles. 

NHS pay

Over the past 12 months, we have continued to campaign for a pay award that reflects the work being asked of members in the NHS and beyond. NHS staff are nearing the end of a three-year pay deal and the CSP and 13 other unions representing health service staff are asking ministers to work with us to move NHS pay forward. In November the health unions jointly wrote to the prime minister outlining our collective position on the need for an early and significant pay rise for NHS staff. #WithNHSStaff

Community rehab

Promoting the right to effective rehabilitation remains a key priority for the CSP and we have developed a clear policy position which is being revised to reflect the impact of the pandemic. Community rehab alliances/coalitions are now established in each UK nation. 

As the pandemic continues, it is essential that we learn the lessons so far and continue to champion the need for rehabilitation and physiotherapy. The CSP is calling for governments and healthcare providers to prioritise physiotherapy and rehabilitation services.

CSP strategy

The CSP’s new strategy, setting out priorities and plans for the organisation and its stakeholders launched at the beginning of the year. It was developed after consultation with CSP members and staff, and with involvement from partner organisations. 

The strategy outlines our four key aims for the organisation: 

  1. build a thriving physiotherapy community 
  2. champion physiotherapy 
  3. maintain an effective and sustainable organisation 
  4. support members in their professional and working lives. 

For members, the strategy not only provides clarity about the CSP’s role in supporting them and the profession, but is also a strong foundation on which to develop their own strategies.

Postponed in 2020 but back in 2021

The CSP Council elections, due to take place this year were postponed until 2021. When the decision was taken, in March, CSP head of governance Nicola Ebdon said: ‘We are concerned that given the current pressures on members it will not be possible for members to engage in the election process and we are unlikely to get nominations until members’ working commitments have normalised.

We are hugely grateful to the members who were due to step down from council in November and their employers for their support in making this decision and staying on council past the end of their term where it is possible for them to do so.’

Also postponed was the Annual Representative Conference (ARC). It will return in 2021 as a virtual event.

Number of subscribers: 1

Log in to comment and read comments that have been added