Letters: 5 November 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.

Statistical analysis

All trusts in Northern Ireland are committed to ensuring that robust data collection is available to inform performance and commissioning.

Physios are working diligently to influence and inform data collection and ensure standardisation of processes and methodologies. This is key to ensuring safe and effective care.The figures attributed to the Northern Health and Social Care trust in the news item ‘Poor data hampers design of physiotherapy services’ (30 July) were incorrect. Teresa Ross, Chair CSP Northern Ireland Board

Frontline responds: Thank you for drawing this to our attention. We published the item in good faith but after we passed on Mrs Ross’ concerns to the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety we were informed that an error had been made in the statistics we had originally been given. An amendment has been made to the original news item on the CSP website.

Shaping the future

I am delighted by Karen Middleton’s appointment at the CSP as she is an inspirational leader and just the person the profession needs in the 21st century.

But I am disappointed by certain comments she made in her last In person column (page 9, 15 October). She said: ‘And, my personal bugbear, we have hard-earned clinical autonomy, so how dare commissioners and planners decide how many times we see a patient, or whether we treat or just give advice’.

I believe that the message to our profession should be to use the hard-earned clinical autonomy to demonstrate just how effective we can be as a profession and demonstrate how we can manage public resources far more effectively than many other professions.

It is exactly because we have the autonomy that we also have the freedom to be innovative and have the opportunity and freedom to move with the times, and be responsive and adaptable to the challenges that lie ahead.

But we need to be respected, we need to earn and maintain that respect, and we need to use that clinical autonomy to influence the future of healthcare. In my opinion we will not achieve this if we use rhetoric such as ‘how dare’. We need to be working collaboratively with commissioners and policymakers in order to shape the future and ensure we are active participants in any future plans.

This will only be achieved by taking the freedom of clinical autonomy and demonstrating just how effective we can be, whatever the challenges put before us.

It will not be achieved if we feel hard-earned clinical autonomy provides us with a licence to do what we want, not what we’re told. Michael Robinson, MCSP, associate director of integrated governance and policy, Bolton NHS Clinical Commissioning Group

University challenged

I was really inspired by your article on dyslexia (page 22, 3 September).  

I’ve worked in the NHS for around 20 years, coming into our profession as an older student.  

I failed school education which, with hindsight, was evidently a bright kid struggling to make sense of language. Praise goes to University of Brighton who identified I was clearly dyslexic. I had just assumed that how I coped with language was the same for everyone. I still wonder how I ever achieved the GCSE and A levels to gain my place at university, but I did.

But like most adults I had already learnt how to survive, and throughout my NHS career I was totally able to do my Job.

The hardest bit, was saying ‘I can do this, but I need support’. Praise to my old boss, Sue Snelgrove, who never questioned but always supported clinicians. Lesley Barnes

Privatisation alert

I am writing to express my concern and raise awareness among the CSP membership of the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP). TTIP is an EU-US trade deal that is currently being negotiated.

It has the potential to permanently privatise our NHS, negatively affect employment rights and government’s ability to legislate in the public interest (such as raising the minimum wage). This will have direct implications for the future of our profession and public healthcare provision.

I would urge all members, even if you feel quite apathetic towards political issues, to become aware of and have a voice on this major deal. The campaign group 38 degrees has an online petition calling for a halt to negotiations. It is simple to sign up here. Marie Wilson

You’ve ADDed...

CSP chief executive Karen Middleton’s speech at this year’s Physiotherapy UK created wide interest. She warned, among other things, that physiotherapy could be ‘sleepwalking towards obscurity(page 8, 15 October). An anonymous member said: Fantastic inspirational speech. Well done Karen; and clarefone added:Karen Middleton is quite inspiring and a force we need as a profession. Marvellous  speech. A call to arms which I want to be part of.

Various and Frontline Staff

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