Changing our services

Karen Middleton on the collective responsibility we all have to change the culture, practices and policies of our services

CSP CEO Karen Middleton
CSP CEO Karen Middleton

I have been interested in recent correspondence to me about whether physiotherapists have a role in public health and ill-health prevention or not. I firmly believe we do and, I would argue, we always have. 

This work has to start with knowing your local population and understanding the unique health needs of those you serve, as well as understanding the barriers to engagement of those that particularly struggle to access our services, and we are in an excellent position to do this.

A feature of the HCPC Standards of Proficiency is changing our services to ensure access and usage is equitable. We need to be intentional about this and plan to make it easier for people who are marginalised to access and use them. There is plenty of evidence of health inequity across the UK, emphasised further during the Covid-19 pandemic. We cannot and should not ignore this – and the situation is likely to get worse with the worsening cost of living crisis.

October marks a year since the launch of our Equity, Diversity and Belonging Strategy and there is a wide range of linked activity internally, with members, and with partners and, whilst there is a specific work stream about service to patients and the public, the whole strategy is ultimately about delivering more equitable physiotherapy services. This is about the diversity of the profession; a culture of inclusivity and belonging in the profession; pre-registration training covering issues of equity, diversity and inclusion; and seeing more diverse leadership.

Council has decided that the Equity, Diversity and Belonging Strategy will become integrated within our forthcoming new corporate strategy. This will focus our direction and improve the integration of our work, and is critical to the evolution of physiotherapy and the CSP. 

And this year we formed our first Equity, Diversity and Belonging Committee, to provide expertise, insight, support and advice to council.

My staff are committed to delivering the forthcoming corporate strategy, along with members and our partners, to transform the experience of those working in the organisation and the profession. 

We strive to transform the services delivered and to influence wider societal changes to counter health inequity and its root causes. 

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