Letters: 2 July 2014

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 and Frontline reserves the right to edit your letters. Please ensure you include your name, address and a daytime telephone number.

Postural Role

It was fantastic to see Bella Travis, policy lead for Mencap, responding to the ‘Pole Position’ article (page 34, 4 June).

In her letter, she acknowledged that we at Postural Care CIC have worked together with Mencap and others for many years to raise awareness of this issue.

I served on the overview panel of the Confidential Inquiry into Premature Death of People with Learning Disabilities (CIPOLD) with particular responsibility for reviewing deaths associated with postural issues.

Recommendation 9 of the findings states that ‘CCGs must ensure they are commissioning sufficient, and sufficiently expert, preventative services for people with learning disabilities regarding their high risk of respiratory illness.

‘This would include expert, proactive postural care support ... ’

The problem is well understood and people can now build on the enormous amount of work that has come before.

Postural Care CIC has developed Ofqual-approved, nationally-recognised training in all aspects of postural care,including the leadership skills required to bring about much needed, fundamental and wide-reaching change in delivery of postural care services.

The Wakefield Project demonstrates how we can pull together existing resources in order to make progress alongside children, individuals and families. We simply do not have time to reinvent the wheel.

There remain many challenges: increased awareness among families and individuals of the avoidable nature of body shape distortion; budgetary constraints; demand for co-produced, person-centred service provision; rapidly increasing numbers of people with increasingly complex healthcare needs and the inherent delegation and liability issues that inevitably arise.

Leadership in this area is becoming more and more inclusive of other professions and family leadership organisations. We must welcome this in order to ensure that the devastating consequences of past provision as evidenced in CIPOLD are not repeated.

I look forward to seeing physiotherapists taking up this challenge and enjoying the opportunity to improve outcomes alongside those we serve.Liz Goldsmith, Postural Care CIC

Leeds takes the lead

I welcomed the news article urging higher education institutions to be creative on student placements (page 11, 18 June).

We try to be innovative with student education at my children’s physiotherapy service, part of Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust. We offer over 30 clinical placements each year and have a comprehensive induction followed by a variety of different training experiences.

On ‘Student Fridays’ all students on placement are collectively taught in the format of seminar teaching, practical skills training and assessment skills.

This is overseen by June Grainger, our clinical educator lead, and has a positive effect on the students and clinicians alike. This pooling of resources allows the students quality training while providing opportunity to different educators to teach areas they enjoy.

I agree that moving forward we need to have a more dynamic approach to student education and hope we provide this in Leeds! Lauren Haworth, paediatric physiotherapist

Domestic matter

I am writing to thank you for your article on domestic violence in the last edition of Frontline (page 32, 18 June), which provided an excellent overview of how physiotherapists can identify and respond to domestic violence.

Women’s Aid encourages all health professionals to develop a good understanding of the issue, and support the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines.

If any of your readers would like to develop their skills or knowledge in this area, I would encourage them to contact our national training centre which runs training programmes for health professionals and others responding to women experiencing abuse. Polly Neate, chief executive, Women’s Aid 

You’ve ADDed...

A news item on the need for more collaboration over student placements prompted a letter and several online comments.

Davejw noted:

I think the ‘hub and spoke’ format needs to be reviewed. Despite the 12-week duration in the core areas, it is difficult for students to gain full and in-depth knowledge in each of these areas in only two- or three-week blocks.  To build caseloads, gain independence and feel comfortable enough in a particular area, continuous professional practice is required over longer time spans.

An anonymous commentator said:

Just a thought for the HEIs and students. When I was a student our clinical supervisors were paid extra for taking us. We are not. I do it because I wish to help future members of my profession have the learning opportunities I had and become better clinicians, so it would be nice to have this acknowledged by the student showing some respect and at least turning up on time!

Sarah Jamieson added:

It’s a difficult balance between a long enough placement to gain sufficient experience to develop clinical skills in a specific physio area, and undertaking enough different specialities to have sufficient experience in core clinical areas to have a rounded and employable profile. It’s certainly one debated in the HEIs on a regular basis.

Various and Frontline Staff

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