Editor's comment: community care

Frontline managing editor Lynn Eaton writes about her post-election visit to a community team in Oxfordshire.

I had the pleasure of visiting members of a community team the day after the election. Politics wasn't on the agenda, but the issue of social care and older people definitely was.

While driving around Oxfordshire with the physiotherapy lead, it became clear how complex people's lives can become, particularly after a bad fall or a stroke.

Where the patient had previously been caring for their partner, the knock-on effects can be tremendous. It can even lead to a husband and wife having little choice but to move into a nursing or care home, much against both their wishes.

Karen Middleton has written movingly in recent issues about a relative who faces returning home after having a stroke. How easy it is to think there's no alternative but to move a person from their home after something like that happens. But the community team I visited showed how they can prevent hospital admissions, or improve the quality of that person's life, by crossing a few boundaries about who does what (all within their scope of practice, of course).

On the subject of flexibility, and working differently, you'll see the launch of our employment-related Building a better balance campaign elsewhere in the magazine. In part because physiotherapy is predominantly a female workforce, many members have caring roles away from work. How prepared are your managers to help you to manage that work-life balance? Find out how CSP reps can help you make the case for a more appropriate mix.

Lynn Eaton Managing editor Frontline and head of CSP member communications

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