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I write about two articles involving Cwm Taf University health board (CTUHB).
The first article reviewed waiting times from referral to treatment for all NHS physiotherapy services in Wales, based on statistics published by the Welsh government. CTUHB was the worst performing health board, and I felt it insinuated that physiotherapy staff were under-performing. Here lies the danger of looking at figures at face value. Did you think to question: are these like for like services? How many physiotherapists are there per head of population? What are the differences in demographical data between these areas? I am not debating the accuracy of the data, however comparing services, covering very different geographical, and socio-economical types is not fair.
The most recent article speaks volumes in its brevity: ‘Mid Glamorgan hospital suspends physiotherapy service’. First, I would like to correct the use of ‘wait-in clinics’ as this should have said ‘walk-in clinics’. Second, I understand that the closure of any service is noteworthy – but the article lacks any context. Have other services in England and Wales had articles published in Frontline over small community hospital closures? CSP member, CTUHB
Frontline replies:In supporting CSP members in their workplaces, we are keen to report situations affecting physio staff, whatever their setting. We welcome information about what is happening in your area.
Our intention was not to de-motivate physio staff but to report on what appeared to be two important issues: the closure of a hospital and waiting times. Members can comment on articles or add information via the CSP website, and can also submit letters to Frontline, as this reader has done. Finally, we have corrected the term ‘walk-in clinics’ on the online version of the article. Thanks for pointing out the error.
I read the dyslexia article (page 22, 3 September). I am a child of the 60s, a left hander who was labelled as being ‘word blind’ in my infant school.
A diagnosis of dyslexia followed. I was encouraged to use my right hand – to no avail – and my habit of writing right to left across the page was broken. All my life I made compromises to cover up my dyslexia as I had grown up believing the taunts that I was thick and stupid. However, it was only at the start of my NVQ that I let those forbidden words from my own mouth. I completed my NVQ in care with mobility and movement endorsements and won a City and Guilds medal for excellence.
I went on to become an assessor and then an internal verifier. In 2005 I was nominated by an NVQ candidate for a strategic health authority Mentor of the Year award and was the overall winner.
I am truly excited about the learning possibilities and support now available to all and thank you for a brilliant article. Amanda Barfield
Caring and sharing
Thank you for supporting me as a finalist in the businesswomen’s awards in north west England (‘Physio in final round of Enterprise Vision Awards’).
I was the only physiotherapist among the six finalists. The award was presented to a lady teaching children to cook.
It was a valuable opportunity to speak to a variety of audiences about how physiotherapy can transform lives. I specialise in working with tightness and scarring after surgery, accidents and radiotherapy.
Especially in these difficult times, we must remember what a positive difference we bring to people’s lives. We must look out for opportunities to tell people what we are doing every day. Remember that however hard our NHS circumstances become, the ‘magic’ that can occur within the crucible of physiotherapy is ours to share with each individual. Leah Dalby
Responding to an online article titled ‘Royal Society for Public Health surveys “healthy conversations”’, stellaf said: I am a paediatric physio and regularly have these conversations with my patients. Just a few thoughts on what I say ... girls tend to drop out of exercise earlier than boys and I encourage them not to just think of ‘school PE’ type exercise but think more broadly of any activity that keeps them active.
I also empathise with them that they have an awful lot more temptations in the way of opportunities to eat unhealthy food then I ever did when I was their age. This makes it difficult for them to establish healthy eating behaviours.
Having read a news item in Frontline titled ‘Physios provide emergency aid in Gaza’, eddyhowes said:I am very interested in how you get on the UK International Emergency Trauma Register of British medical and health professionals? If anyone has any ideas, that would be appreciated.
Frontline replied: If any physiotherapists are interested in joining the register they should visit the UK-Med website, or contact Peter Skelton for more information. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A news item titled ‘Physio awarded £741,000 to research abdominal massage for patients with MS’ prompted two comments:vitsk said: Research is required in physical therapies to help patients remain in control. And Sue Hallam commented: Well done Doreen and good luck with the study.
AuthorVarious and Frontline Staff
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