Letters - 6 November 2013

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.

A Question of balance  

We read, with interest, the article about the vestibular service at Liverpool’s Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Frontline (18 September).

York Balance Centre was set up in 1996 and, in 2001, became one of three national pilot sites of the Action on ENT project run by the NHS Modernisation Agency aimed at developing new models for the delivery of balance services and improved patient access.

We provide a specialist, multidisciplinary service for the assessment and management of patients with dizziness or balance problems.

New patients are initially seen in a two-hour, one-stop clinic for structured, comprehensive and in-depth assessment by a specialist physiotherapist and audiologist.

A management plan is then discussed and a full report sent to the GP or other referring clinician.

In addition, vestibular rehabilitation clinics are run each week by the two physiotherapists providing customised exercise programmes for those patients with vestibular hypofunction, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and others who might benefit.

The service at Aintree is not pioneering or unique but it is excellent to hear of the success of this new development.
Elizabeth Beckerlegge and Sally Winterburn, ESP physiotherapists, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust PRAISE for CSP event

I would like to say a big thank you to the Physiotherapy 2013 conference team, for providing a very thought-provoking event.

I have attended many of these annual events, however the innovation, themes and eye-widening information from the speakers this year was truly inspiring.

To hear such people as Karen Middleton, Lesley Mercer and Emma Stokes was an opportunity I am glad I took up.

These are people in and around our profession and professional body who have so much insight into the direction the profession should be taking and who have helped to shape the professional ethics and morals I am so proud to be associated with.

One highlight was Catherine Pope, vice chair of Council, speaking about our place in the professions’ areas of expertise. She said: ‘Physios are experts in resilience and prevention.’

Look for opportunities. Volunteer into the profession or external clinical groups. Visit Physiotherapy UK

There is a greater need than ever to share our skills with non-physio staff to enable a more sustainable way of ‘spreading the clinical word and skills’.

To understand the drivers behind the changes we see, become familiar with health and social epidemiology and its impact on public health.  See: www.csp.org.uk/wilkinson

Attending a conference where you are also able to gain insight into areas of clinical and professional expertise that are not your own, is so much more valuable than you think.

I came away inspired invigorated and ready to make some changes in my career. Needless to say, I will be attending again next year.
Paula Manning

More on Malala

We had a lot of lovely feedback from patients and staff about the coverage of the treatment of Malala Yousafzai at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (‘Malala praises the work of facial rehabilitation therapists’, page 10, 23 October).

Even the new patients in the facial palsy clinic had seen Suzi Allen and me on BBC news.

The clinic involves Richard Irving, ear, nose and throat consultant surgeon, Demetrius Evriviades, consultant plastic surgeon, Suzi and me.

We all assess in a room together so we can offer opinions of diagnosis physical therapy which is all conducted at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

One of our patients travels 10 hours to get to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and some also fly in from Ireland.

If a patient is beyond physiotherapy then we can help restore facial symmetry via surgical techniques.

These can be dynamic, in the form of reanimation surgery, or instead static, where the affected side of the face is lifted with fascia.

I hope this sheds a little more light on the facial palsy clinic.
Sally Glover

You’ve ADDed...

Two members commented on a report from the AHP International conference, titled ‘Patients with COPD the winners in physio-led telehealth programme’.

It is an interesting idea but unsure how it would actually work. Would like to find out more about it before commenting further.
Puja Trivedi

In the early months of the 21st century motivation for a community pulmonary rehabilitation service in Cambridge was commenced, one of the first in the country.

In 2003 it was set up and recruited a physiotherapist from Papworth, who had experience in an acute setting.

It has gone on to be highly effective and having personal experience of this service 2005 to 2007 I would have every confidence that long distance rehabilitation would be successful as it has been in other countries.

It is personalised exercise sessions and mentoring, together with peer support and group exercises at the start, followed by education from a multidisciplinary team which time and again achieved high outcomes and above all personal pride and confidence to take on new life skills and goals.

The main direction and teaching would be set by the lead therapist with local support and correction on an individual basis by trained health workers.
M A Coles

A report on Emma Coles’ Founders’ lecture at Physiotherapy 2013, in which she urged physios to think creatively, prompted the following comment:  I wholeheartedly agree – if an opportunity presents itself, grab it and work out the details later ... the future is then surprising rather than predictable.
Angela Dainton

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