Letters - 16 May 2012

Get involved now by sending your contributions by email to talkback@csp.org.uk or write to Letters, Frontline, 14 Bedford Row London WC1R 4ED. Letters should be no more than 250 words. Frontline reserves the right to edit letters. Please ensure you include your name, address and a daytime telephone number.

Feeble display over pensions

Shame on the 64 per cent of NHS physios who didn’t bother to vote in last month’s pensions ballot.

A lack of effort will probably cost you between three and five years in additional service before you can claim your pension.

I also fail to understand why if 78 per cent of those who voted feel the deal is unfair why only 32 per cent are unwilling to accept the deal. It says to the government ‘we are not happy, but do what you want anyway’.

I don’t want to strike and lose vital income unless absolutely necessary, but at least voting as being unwilling to accept and suggesting the threat of further action alone may have worked in our favour. If we have put up so little fight into this battle, it will be our incremental pay they will attack next.
Lucy Georgiades (by email)

Opt out plea

Can I can opt out of having some of my CSP subscription go towards union funding? As a private practitioner with my own practice, I don’t feel I get anything out of union membership.

In addition, I object to having my fees contribute to the power that union bosses wield over politicians with my contribution to a block vote. I also resent contributing to the Labour party. Please advise.
Susan Julians (by email)

Claire Sullivan, assistant director, Employment Relations and Union Services, replies:

While some members inevitably use some CSP services more than others, we work across the whole society to ensure the strongest possible services in all areas.

Some of the trade union services provided to individuals are only relevant for members who are employed, rather than self-employed.

However, we offer free legal services and support, including free legal representation by a barrister at Health Profession Council cases.

Self-employed practitioners make up more than half of all the CSP’s HPC cases.There are around 50  of these at any given time.

There are 16 trade unions affiliated to the Labour Party  each with a legally-constituted political fund which individual members can ‘opt-out’ of. The CSP is not one of these unions. It does not donate any money to any political party.

Whiplash reforms

The media has reported that the government and insurance industry plan to reform compensation for people who have sustained whiplash injury.

A central plank to these reforms is the creation of ‘independent (court appointed) medical panels’ to assess claimants rather than using GPs or orthopaedic consultants who are instructed by medico-legal agencies.

What is the CSP doing to promote the inclusion of our profession on these panels?

Physiotherapists such as Professor Michele Sterling are at the forefront of research into whiplash, and there is a good evidence base relating to physiotherapy and whiplash.

The CSP has a strong case to present to the Ministry of Justice on the value we could offer in assessing this common and much misunderstood injury accurately.

The CSP must strive to promote our profession as one that can offer highly specialist assessment of whiplash and not allow other medical professionals to view us simply as providers of rehabilitation.
Martin Docherty (by email)

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