Impact Report 2020

Welcome to the CSP’s Impact Report

Alex MacKenzie Chair of Council
Alex MacKenzie Chair of Council

Alex MacKenzie Chair of Council reports

From the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK in early 2020, it has been an unprecedented year for physiotherapy, members and the country as a whole.

The strain that the pandemic has placed on the UK’s health and care system has been enormous – requiring fundamental changes to the way CSP members or physiotherapy staff have had to work, provide care and maintain ongoing teaching and learning to ensure a sustainable workforce for the future. For students, it has been a time of considerable uncertainty and anxiety as degree courses were profoundly affected by the pandemic.

Time and again, CSP members stepped up, going above and beyond to adapt and provide essential care, guidance and research to enable clinicians, patients and the wider public cope. Whether as staff or volunteers, members were there to provide the public with the Welcome to the CSP’s Impact Report support they needed to weather the pandemic – even in the face of precious few chances for rest and recovery.

For those members in the independent sector, there has also been the added worry of potential loss of livelihood, causing yet more stress.

As the pandemic has progressed, the long-term aftereffects of Covid-19 have become clearer. These, alongside a huge backlog of missed medical appointments, as well as large numbers of physical issues left unaddressed during periods of restrictions, have created an upsurge in rehabilitation needs among the public.

At the same time, in the wake of the murder of George Floyd in the United States, conversations with and between members about racism and equity were brought to the fore for the profession. The pain of this shocking event was compounded for many Black, Asian and minority ethnic members, who let us know – rightly – that the CSP did not respond appropriately or fast enough, and that this was another indication of the structural racism seen across society at large, the profession and in the CSP.

A series of listening events has led to a better understanding of our previous failings and a strategic approach to better support members, harden a stronger stance as an anti-racist organisation and profession, and challenge the lack of visible diversity within the CSP’s Council. More detail on these measures – and others we have taken – can be found later in this report.

Finally, on behalf of Council and members, my thanks go to all the CSP staff who have worked tirelessly to advocate for the profession and support members during this challenging time. The impacts laid out in this report powerfully demonstrate what difference we can make if we work all work together.

Professor Karen Middleton Chief executive, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy reports

The Covid-19 pandemic presented formidable operational challenges to the CSP in 2020. Yet our staff overcame personal and professional challenges to ensure our attention was where it absolutely needed to be during such an unparalleled time – with our members. I have been in awe of the response of our membership during the pandemic – whether that be working in the NHS, universities, or the independent sector.

Professor Karen Middleton CEO, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
Professor Karen Middleton CEO, CSP

This impact report sets out how the CSP, as the professional and educational body and trade union for members working to deliver physiotherapy services, has risen to the challenge of the pandemic. I owe a huge thank you to all CSP staff for their extraordinarily efforts to adapt and support members during the pandemic.

Covid-19 has impacted all of the CSP’s work streams, our objectives and our overall strategy. Some have been refocused in response, while others have been accelerated as their work has become more urgent. This report lays out some of those changes and the impact of our renewed focus on the areas our members have needed it most during the pandemic.

Covid-19 has posed particular complications for members in the independent sector, with even less national guidance and substantial impacts on livelihoods. This was an area that, in hindsight, we could have responded faster to the needs of members.

When we did so, with a series of webinars specifically for members working in the independent sector, feedback was positive.

As well as visible support, there was much that colleagues and I did behind the scenes to support members. We engaged with governments across the UK, with policy advisors and with insurers to advocate for members’ interests, even as events shifted with sometimes bewildering speed.

In May 2020, we were shocked and appalled by the murder of George Floyd, sparking a global movement for equity and justice. As Alex has said, our response should have been faster and more robust. Lessons have been learned as we have rapidly developed our Equity, Diversity and Belonging work.

With strands which are both member-facing and staff-facing, we have sought to overhaul our culture, working practices and, indeed, challenge ourselves.

While this year has inevitably been spent meeting virtually, whenever I have spoken to you, our members, it has consistently shone through how much we can achieve together if we work collectively to advocate for our profession, our members and the role we play in enabling the health of others.

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