Letters - 5 March 2014

Get involved now by sending your contributions  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.


I was interested to read about the Europe-wide day of action against racism (page 23, 19 February).

This was a commendable contribution, but is Frontline the correct publication for members to promulgate their political views, especially when there is no clear relationship to these and physiotherapy?

Today the profession faces urgent issues. It is more germane to physiotherapy to be kept up-to-date with the progress that the CSP is making on these matters; rather than preoccupy ourselves with the political machinations of Eurocrats. Sigismund Solly

The CSP responds:We have a wider role to play in supporting external campaigns and adhere to the principles of working for global equality, justice and fairness. This outlook is reflected in the range of motions that CSP members have put to Annual Representative Conferences in recent years – from human rights abuses in Fiji to the environmental damage caused by oil companies. Visit the website and search for ‘IP61’.

Life and soul

A further comment on older therapists (letters, 5 February). I am in the private sector with shared ownership of a therapy centre offering multiple therapies.

I will be 67 in June and work a 36-hour programme, plus book-keeping, planning and study time at home. I am lucky to have trained in craniosacral therapy, which is very gentle on my body, and for 12 years have taught Pilates classes which take about half of my work volume. I have gradually found other teachers to continue my classes and work three and a half days a week.

Over the years I have always been active  – I am now left with cycling and walking and doing the opening sequences and demonstrations for 14 groups a week.

This means that, despite spinal and shoulder injuries and a pretty worn out body on scans, including a complete rotator cuff tear, I can adapt my musculoskeletal work to cope with some loss of power through my right arm.

I need my two days free as my energy gets drained. Hopefully, I will continue another couple of years and am currently preparing to learn to be a Tai Chi for arthritis teacher. Pam Jolliffe

Design flaw

I spent my day off yesterday in A&E with my mother-in-law who fell while using her three-wheeled walker.

She fell into the frame (from which she removes the basket and tray so that she can fold the walker).

As she fell she hooked the triceps of her left arm on to the basket hook and then lay suspended by her arm, until eventually the skin ripped and she ended up with a three-inch hole in the skin through which the triceps and subcutaneous fat bulged.

We have now covered these hooks. I will be keeping an eye out for any of my patients that I see with the same design of walker. Liz Ball

Pooling ideas

I enjoyed reading about the work of the physiotherapy critical care team at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and am also lucky enough to work in a critical care unit where early mobilisation is common practice  (page 25, 1 January).

As a neurophysiotherapist, I am well aware of the importance of early mobilisation following neurological impairment, and this is no different on the intensive care unit where we begin to assist people out of bed as soon as they are medically stable.

This may mean using the tilt table, hoisting to a chair or walking while on a ventilator.

Indeed, where there are no contra-indications, we frequently take critical care patients, including those who have a tracheostomy, who may or may not be ventilated, into the hydrotherapy pool.

Although taking high-risk patients into the hydrotherapy pool required a lengthy process of completing risk assessments and ensuring that all staff had appropriate competencies to ensure patient safety, the patients demonstrated clear physical and psychological benefits and now the physiotherapy team are often asked by the doctors and nurses if they can take the patients to the pool before they have had the chance to suggest it themselves. Paula Dimarco

You’ve ADDed...

The news item titled ‘New health and work service will offer physio opportunities’ prompted mitchellp
to respond:

  •  This is fantastic to see another area where physiotherapists can use their skills.

And an anonymous member added:

  • This will be a very good service and we can make more and more savings to the NHS and then we can use this savings for good purpose in the hospital or develop good service for patients or we can employ more staff to relief from high caseload.

In response to the news item about a ‘super hero’ winning a Big Idea competition at the student representatives development weekend, Rhys Hughes commented:  

  • So unbelievably proud of our region! Well done guys!  Great pic as well!

The news item titled ‘Updated NICE guidelines say exercise should be a ‘core treatment’ for osteoarthritis’ led to a flurry of comments.   Stephen Bathe noted:

  • Why is three quarters of this piece about acupuncture!?!  I am left with the feeling that the CSP are sad that acupuncture is withheld as a treatment rather than being happy that exercise is evidence based proven to help?

And Jacqueline Wright added:

  • The NICE recommendations on acupuncture are unfortunate. Yes acupuncture on its own may not be very effective; but surely cannot acupuncture together with the right sort of exercise be only to the good? Is not acupuncture a good alternative to pain relieving drugs? Does not acupuncture help with muscle weakness by overcoming reflex inhibition? The guidelines on exercise are also somewhat unspecific and unsatisfactory. They tell us little to nothing on what exercises are beneficial.




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