Championing Physiotherapy

As the long-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic came into focus, we launched our Stronger My Way campaign

Impact report 2022

Strengthening the profession’s reputation 

In support of the CSP’s strategic objective to advocate for the profession to key stakeholders, including policymakers, allied health professionals, other clinicians and the public, the society worked to achieve positive coverage for physiotherapy across a range of media.  

  • The highlight of the year was achieving coverage in over 1,000 media outlets highlighting our actions to seek a better pay deal for our members.  
  • We raised the issue of the loss of rehab spaces and resources which resulted in national and regional coverage across the UK and the CSP’s chief executive, Karen Middleton, was interviewed on Sky News about the issue.  
  • We shared data with the media in Scotland showing that most hospital-based pools remained closed more than two years on from the start of the pandemic and highlighted the impact on patients. As part of an aquatic therapy campaign, we shared with local media the story of a teenager’s experience of aquatic physiotherapy and why he wants these services to be prioritised. The film achieved over 26,000 views and generated over 100,000 impressions across social media channels.  
  • CSP members and staff also appeared in national media outlets throughout the year to support and educate the general public about several issues, including the importance of strength and resistance training for the over 50s; working from home; how to use outdoor gym space over the summer; looking after your back and commenting on massage guns.
  • We commented on the waiting list backlogs throughout the year, highlighting that the failure to reopen physiotherapy services was having a devastating impact on patients.  

External influencing 

Across the UK in 2022 we continued to realise gains in pushing rehabilitation up the agenda with governments and health leaders, and gain support for physiotherapy as a workforce solution that should be utilised and grown. This was in the context of an increasingly challenging health policy environment, still dominated by the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic and acute pressure on services.  

  • The CSP published the report Rehabilitation, recovery and reducing health inequity: easing the pain, which set out the consequences for communities of poor access to rehabilitation and recommendations for how to address this to reduce health inequalities.  
  • In September 2022 CSP teams met with Healthwatch branches in South Central and Midlands regions. The Midlands branch was particularly interested in the launch of the easing the pain report and invited CSP staff to present again at a future meeting.    
  • A letter from Karen Middleton was sent to chief executives and health inequity leads of integrated care systems (ICSs) in October 2022 to promote the health inequity report.  A few days on from sending this letter, over half of all ICSs targeted had clicked through to the report.     

Regional engagement – promoting aquatic physiotherapy 

The CSP worked to underline the importance of aquatic physiotherapy and support members to campaign against pool closures across the UK. 

The team led collaboration with the Aquatic Therapy Association (ATACP) and the National Axial Spondyloarthritis Society (NASS) to produce a set of resources to support members working in aquatic therapy. The resources featured a patient story video together with template letters to lobby or engage stakeholders, a series of top tips and an FAQ.  

The CSP supported ATACP to host an event on protecting and promoting aquatic therapy services in July 2022. Over 60 delegates attended. The CSP also supported distribution of a hydrotherapy service survey that was organised by ATACP on behalf of the Hydrotherapy and Aquatic Physiotherapy Alliance. 

The resources helped members to campaign against pool closures across the UK and CSP supported members locally with five campaigns which included local MP engagement.

As part of the campaign to promote the benefits of Aquatic Therapy, Sarah Green MP (Chesham and Amersham constituency) visited the newly re-built hydrotherapy pool at Amersham Hospital in August.

Preventative health  

Impact report 2022

In May 2022, the CSP launched Stronger My Way using National Lottery funds distributed by Sport England. The resource provided advice, reassurance and exercises for people living with a health condition to do strengthening on a more regular basis.  

Crucially, it also delivered evidence, training and resources to enable healthcare professionals to support behaviour change among their patients.  

The campaign secured endorsements from NHS England, patient organisations and other professional bodies, including the RCGP, further delivering on the objectives of that workstream to position the CSP as a leader in prevention.  

Access the Stronger My Way hub.

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