Letters: 19 November 2014

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

A lot of gaul

I am writing in response to Helen Mooney’s column on pelvic floor physiotherapy in France and the after-care that women can expect in the post-partum period (page 22, 15 October).

The statement ‘it’s time women in the UK had these specialist sessions on the NHS’. implies that no such current service exists in the UK which is misleading.

Many NHS centres offer post-natal pelvic floor rehab across the UK, the content of which mirrors that of the service in France. This includes an assessment by a specialist physiotherapist, pelvic floor muscle exercise instruction and often the use of biofeedback as an assessment and teaching tool. I have offered such a service for over 20 years and my service is far from unique. The only difference is the way that the service is accessed by the individual with the onus being on the woman to seek the service in the UK while in France access is routine to all women via social services.

Due to the current financial climate these services are in some areas under threat and we need to fight for their continuation and also look at new ways of delivering such services. For example, the CSP with guidance from the Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy (POGP) network, collaborated with the Royal College of Midwives to promote awareness of pelvic floor rehabilitation to midwives and the general public, and we were represented on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour in May to advise any woman with post-natal problems to contact their GP and request a referral to a specialist physio. This is the linkto the CSP web page explaining post-natal pelvic floor care. Katie Mann, public relations officer, POGP

Healthwatch advocate

I have been an active Healthwatch volunteer for over 12 months and am a working age member (page 12, 15 October).

I feel I have been able to network across the voluntary and social care sector into the local commissioning of services. I have learnt more about speaking out, listening well and being an advocate towards good health and social care than I have in my 20 years practising as a physio. This is because I have felt able to apply my knowledge, skills and insights into health conditions into representation more so than ever.

It is a shame that more part-time working members are not involved in this consumer championing work. Carolina Read

Football feature fan

What a great article about the Dundee football project,highlighting the multiple benefits of physical activity
for people with mental illness (page 24, 1 October).

These benefits are echoed by the Bristol Active Life Project (BALP), a partnership between the mental health physiotherapy and exercise service at Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health NHS trust and external agencies in Bristol.

BALP provides physical activity sessions for people with severe and enduring mental illness including football, yoga, tennis, gym, badminton and walking.

Let’s hope that, as Ms Doherty stated, these activities will soon be more widely available, addressing practically the increased health inequalities in this population. Margot Hodgson, senior physiotherapist

I’m astonished

I am astonished, and not a little worried, that Michael Robinson does not wholeheartedly agree with Karen Middleton regarding the profession’s clinical autonomy and the responsibility this brings (letter, page 6, 5 November).

We can certainly use our clinical autonomy to be innovative, responsive and adaptable as Mr Robinson suggests. But if, ultimately, our clinical reasoning identifies a need for extended physiotherapy input for a particular patient I, for one, agree with Karen that management/commissioners should not impose limitations that restrict this. Jane Tavinor, MCSP

Words of wisdom

Several speakers at Physiotherapy UK 2014 gave views of the past and thoughts for the future. I came away feeling that our founders were incredibly forward thinking. They defined the four pillars on which physiotherapy is based as massage, electrotherapy, exercise/movement and ‘kindred methods’.

How astute they were to realise that there would be methods that were not yet known but would become part of physiotherapy practice in the future. Professor Paul Watson gave a view of the physiotherapy treatment of pain. How sad that he listed methods that he felt should not be included in practice and spoke in a derisory way about them.

Just because we don’t have evidence now, it does not follow that something is not effective and should be dismissed. We have to trust our profession to be mature enough to look at methods and make a reasoned decision as to whether we should explore their use. After all, how would our profession progress without the constant searching to understand more and to treat better? Ingela Jacob, chair, Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Reflex Therapy

You’ve ADDed...

Responding to a news item titled ‘Promote daily exercise to end “epidemic” of inactivity, say CSP and Public Health England’,  MAColes saidFor me the most motivating factor was having to walk where I needed to be. The sense of independence and freedom it gave was immeasurable and so I began to value my feet and legs more than I had ever done. As  someone said we no longer need our bodies so we work on them to bring us that elusive happiness which can only truly come from a purpose-filled life.

Various and Frontline Staff

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