Letters - 22 January 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. Frontline reserves the right to edit letters. Please ensure you include your name, address and a daytime telephone number.

Scourge of polio

In the closing months of 2013 there was an outbreak of wild poliomyelitis in war-torn Syria; with 17 cases of paralytic poliomyelitis being officially reported last November.

Also there have been three new detections of polio in sewage in Gaza (one) and the West Bank (two), so the risk is out there.

The good news is that the outbreak in Sudan seems to be over at 203 cases – the last reported case was on 9 October.

The tragic situation is that the poliomyelitis virus could have been eliminated by now.

The virus is unique in that it only affects man and is not carried by animals, thus making total elimination possible.

It frequently affects those under the age of five, and those who suffer paralysis face the problem of living with the disease as they develop and grow for the rest of their lives.  

The vaccine has helped this country eliminate the disease.

David Milliband, who heads the International Rescue Committee, said that in Syria there are more than 500,000 children under the age of five who have not received the vaccine.

We read reports of 7 million Syrians living in refugee camps, around the borders of Syria.

There are other areas of the Middle East where children have been denied the vaccine.

Let’s hope that in 2014 health workers will have safe access to all those who need the vaccine and polio will at last consigned be history.

I, and other members of the Retirement Association (CSPRA) who started our training just after the last large polio epidemic in Britain, will know what a devastating disease this is.
Lyn Ankcorn Secretary CSPRA

Thanks to the CSP

I am a senior physiotherapist with over 30 years’ experience.

I have been a member of the CSP since qualifying and never thought that I would require the support of the stewards’ function.

However, an issue arose recently where I was accused of gross misconduct and I contacted my local steward for assistance.   They provided me with instant advice and support.

Because of the serious allegation, I was assigned a CSP senior negotiating officer who dealt with my case immediately and communicated with the relevant people on my behalf including the local CSP steward, the investigating manager along with my organisation’s human resources department.

I was supported both prior to and during the disciplinary hearing and was advised on the likely outcome, which turned out to be correct.

I found it extremely reassuring to have such experts on my side. Thankfully, the issue is now resolved and I remain employed.

I feel I could not have done it without the invaluable advice, support and expertise that was provided through the stewards’ network I want to say a huge thank you to the CSP, the local stewards’ network and the senior negotiating officer for providing such excellent support.
Name withheld at author’s request.

Pedestrian issue

Dylan Woodhead (1 January 2014) recommends the promotion of skateboarding and scooters as an environmentally friendly method of transport.

I agree these methods of transport do not pollute the area but they do have a significant impact on the wider community.

His letter states ‘that there has been great work integrating cyclists into the transport system’.

The implication being that this has been done successfully but as a partially sighted person I would contest this statement.

Many of these cycle schemes rely on introducing cyclists into areas previously only used by pedestrians.

I find these ‘shared use facilities’ very unnerving and frightening when a cyclist passes close to me at speed.

I cannot see cyclists far enough away to take evasive action (people on skateboards and scooters are even more difficult to see).

Being faster, cyclists often expect me to avoid them.

They cannot know that this is impossible for me and for those with other hidden disabilities.

The use of shared facilities where pedestrians are integrated with cyclists makes life more difficult and threatens the already restricted mobility of people with a range of disabilities.
Mary Fairbrother

You’ve ADDed...

  • The news item titled ‘Downbanding victory for Oxford physiotherapists’ prompted the following comment from an anonymous member:  Well done on achieving this, it gives the rest of us in the downbanding boat a glimmer of hope!
  • In response to a news item titled ‘More than 50% of adults risk injury from self-diagnosing pain without seeking physiotherapy advice, survey finds’, Angela D made the following comment: I think that, in the future, as the direct access to physiotherapy, becomes the norm ... this will not be the case. Also, when physiotherapists are prescribing – this will improve the above model further.Once the public are empowered and educated on the benefits of seeing a physiotherapist, as a ‘first port of call’, this would help to reduce this figure.
  • The article in the last edition of Frontline titled ‘Thank you Phil!’ led Margaret Revie, a CSP vice president, to note:  I would like to add my personal commendations to Phil as he moves into retirement.  I have appreciated Phil’s support through good times and not so good times.  I have found him to be a good friend and a giver of wise counsel. His support for members who work in all areas of physiotherapy has been valuable and appreciated. I shall miss this and I wish him well in all he seeks to do in the future.
Frontline Staff

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