Build back Stronger

A new CSP campaign offers physiotherapy staff critical skills and knowledge at a crucial moment, says CSP head of press and PR Jon Ryan

Stronger my way
CSP Campaign Stronger my Way [Photos: Lorne Campbell/Guzelian and Nathan Clarke]

A hidden effect of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the rise in deconditioning among the public. This is of particular significance to people with health conditions who may also have struggled to access services over the past two years.

Of course, we knew pre-pandemic that too few people were doing the recommended strengthening on two days a week, especially among that cohort.

That’s why we began working with Sport England in 2019 to explore how people could be better supported to do strengthening on a more regular basis.

The pandemic has only heightened the importance of this work and we’re proud to now launch Stronger My Way – a campaign designed to equip healthcare professionals with the knowledge, skills and confidence to enable behaviour change.

The campaign is built around a hub on the CSP website with two entry points – one for the public and one for professionals.

On the professionals’ side, CSP members can access:

  • the evidence for strengthening and how to discuss it with patients.
  • signposting to the best training for behaviour change, motivational interviewing, health coaching and shared decision-making.
  • resources, such as videos and a goal-setting planner, to support your conversations with patients.
  • guides and case studies on understanding health inequities and delivering cultural competent services.

On the public side, people living with long-term conditions can access:

  • introductory videos to get started with strengthening.
  • articles delivering reassurance and advice that it is safe and beneficial for their quality of life.
  • relatable case studies of others who have benefited from getting stronger their way.
  • resources to help them track their progress and fit strengthening into their daily lives.

The campaign has been built using the findings from an 18-month insight project with physiotherapy staff and people with lived experience, and it was co-produced in partnership with patients and professionals.

Ash James, director of practice and development at the CSP, encouraged members to engage with the campaign.

‘People living with a long-term condition told us that physiotherapy staff – above other professionals – were a trusted source of advice on this issue,’ he said.

‘We also heard that this input was essential because strengthening held a particular fear for them, over and above the concerns we know people often have in relation to physical activity more generally.

This campaign offers CSP members the opportunity to have a really meaningful impact on their patients’ quality of life, by talking to them about strengthening, supporting behaviour change and placing them at the heart of their rehab journey.’

‘The hub will help CSP members save time, gain CPD and deliver better outcomes for their patients, so I urge all members to make use of this great new resource.’

The campaign has been made possible through National Lottery funding delivered by Sport England as part of their commitment to helping people overcome barriers to being as active as they would like to be.

Suzie Gittus, Sport England’s national partnerships lead for health and inactivity, called on CSP members to seize the moment.

‘As we emerge from the pandemic, it is critical that we tackle deconditioning because of the consequences it can have for the nation’s physical and mental health. 

Stronger my way

‘We are delighted to be working with the CSP on Stronger My Way. We know the powerful and positive impact physiotherapy staff can have when they discuss physical activity with the people who need that advice most.’ 

As it should, the final word will go to Sara Ali, who features on the front cover, and has found strengthening to be of enormous value to her quality of life.

‘Strengthening has made me feel a lot more confident, a lot more capable, going out and doing things and basically living my life more independently,’ she said.

‘It’s made my mood better and I feel so much better in myself.’ 

Visit Stronger My Way hub

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