Back to normal?

Karen Middleton questions whether we should go back to the way we were before the pandemic  

CSP CEO Karen Middleton
CSP CEO Karen Middleton

As I write, the national restrictions in all parts of the UK are easing and I hope that, as you read this, that is still the case! 

One of the phrases I frequently hear is ‘when we get back to normal …’ and I wonder if what we mean is ‘when we go back to how we were...’ because ‘normal’ is so difficult to define. My question is could/should we ever go back to the way we were? 

Many of us have faced unexpected tragedy and hardship over the last year that means we never can. Others, like me, have experienced such a fundamental change in the way we live and work, that it has caused us to re-evaluate what is important and make changes that we want to sustain. 

For almost all of our members, in whatever sphere of physiotherapy practice, research and education, there have been significant changes to ways of working. Some will need to stay and others let go of. But it is important to make the right, informed choices.

As we are in the middle of the CSP Council election period, we are planning for the induction and development of new and existing members. And I’ve been thinking about the strategic issues the new Council will be dealing with at this significant time of change and transition. Undoubtedly, Council will look at the implications of the pandemic and the impact it has had, both good and bad. As the development of the next CSP corporate strategy gets underway, the opportunities and threats from the pandemic will no doubt inform the strategic aims we will set out to deliver. 

And Council will lead the launch of the CSP Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, which will be a significant moment, as words need to translate into actions that are measurable and for which we are accountable to the membership for. I am conscious that you will be reading this in May – a year after the death of George Floyd and, as I write, the trial of the police officer involved in his death is underway. 

The strategy is as a direct result of the #BLM movement and the mirror we had to hold up to ourselves. 

There is also Council’s responsibility for ensuring good governance of the organisation and even how this governance is executed will need to be considered – have we got it right? Could it be improved? 

Spring is the season of hope and I look forward to supporting the new Council as it takes on these challenges. Let’s replace the phrase ‘back to’ with ‘forward to’ and move ahead together.

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