The CSP has launched a new influencing toolkit to help members to bring about change and make sure their voices are heard
Every day across the UK, people are making decisions that affect your work and your patients. Whether you have been a member of physio staff for one year or 30, you are the most effective advocates in communicating to decision-makers about the key issues affecting the profession and the patients you see.
Do you work in a trust where staff and patient spaces have been taken away or repurposed without replacement? Can you see how, with more resource, your service could make a real impact on patient outcomes and patient flow? Perhaps you would like to campaign to influence workforce plans and increase staffing numbers? The new CSP influencing toolkit can help you raise your voice on all sorts of issues and opportunities that matter to you in your day-to-day practice.
It will help you make the most of opportunities to influence your local health system and is full of tips to help you build relationships, influence and momentum.
Now more than ever, CSP members have the opportunity to get physiotherapy on the agenda of decision-makers. In England, the Health and Care Act 2022 moved integrated care systems (ICS) onto a statutory footing. ICSs bring together NHS organisations, local authorities and others to collectively plan health and care services to meet the needs of people who live and work in their area and reduce health inequalities. All over England, the 42 ICSs, made up of integrated care boards and integrated care partnerships, are designing and beginning to implement their strategies. In the devolved nations, health boards or trusts are also determining the best way to deliver healthcare in the challenging post-pandemic context.
The aftermath of Covid-19 has brought to the forefront how important physiotherapy services are. You can continue this momentum. As NHS pressures, such as waiting times and funding cuts, continue it is critical we maintain pressure to remind politicians, opinion-formers and stakeholders of the importance of physiotherapy services.
As part of the toolkit, CSP member Simon Whitehouse, CEO of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin ICS, shares his tips on influencing within healthcare systems. He says the most difficult step with influencing work is often the first: ‘I think the hardest bit is having - against a hamster wheel of demand, activity, workforce challenges - the headspace to lift up and think about where you want to be, and think about how you can do that.’
But he is full of encouragement: ‘Don’t be afraid to step up, don’t be afraid to really push forward on the work that you need to do and don’t always wait for permission because quite often, the permission is there…If it is a good idea and it makes a difference in terms of improving patient outcomes, who’s going to tell you not to do it?’
The influencing toolkit can be downloaded here. No special training is required and many of the suggestions included take just minutes to achieve. The toolkit is for all CSP members and advice can be adapted to maximise a range of influencing opportunities.
To hear from other CSP members who are undertaking influencing work, share ideas and get inspired, join the iCSP influencers network.
We’d love to know more about your influencing work and are here to support you to achieve your goals. CSP staff work in each region of England, as well as Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get support.
Your action will mean that more decision-makers, patients and members of the public will better understand the value of physiotherapy.
Where to begin?
If you have five mins…
Build up your virtual network by following key decision-makers, regional networks, country boards, or influential people on Twitter. Tweet and re-tweet key messages about physiotherapy.
If you have 15 mins…
Prepare a patient case study which supports your ‘ask’ and demonstrates how your service transforms lives. Determine your key stakeholders – who they are and how you need to target them.
If you have 30 mins…
Email your local representative, such as your local MP, MSP in Scotland, MS in Wales or MLA in Northern Ireland, to ask if they would be interested in arranging a service visit. Meet with your organisation’s communications team to discuss ideas with them on how to promote what you do for patients.
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