Letters - 9 April 2014

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History lesson

I read with interest the views of John Etherington on new models or rehabilitation and the role(s) and opportunities for physiotherapists in the NHS new order (‘Great expectations’, 19 March).

The time frame of three years to ‘sort out’ rehabilitation in the NHS that his ‘boss’ at NHS England has stated for making the case for rehabilitation implies that this period is sufficient to convince planners and budget managers of rehabilitation’s effectiveness and to address resource allocation limitations – a perennial problem for those employed in this specialty. It is sad and somewhat depressing that even now we still have to make the case for rehabilitation to NHS hierarchy.

Lessons, it seems, need to be re-learnt. The concept of joined-up care pathways, therapy delivered by skilled clinicians underpinned by effective and relevant research will provide the necessary evidence to secure greater recognition of the value of rehabilitation and increased resource allocation during the current financial climate of the NHS.
Wing Commander (Rtd) Bob Jones, Officer Commanding Rehabilitation Division (2005 to 2008), Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Headley Court

Multi-story telling

I feel that a fundamentally incorrect premise was repeated in the article titled ‘Great expectations’ (19 March).

Dr Etherington said ‘a problem we’re seeing at the moment is people tell their stories five or six times along any care pathway’. Why is the telling of a patient’s story seen as ‘a problem’? Their story is their voice. Patient stories are being used to get feedback, individualise care.

All good things. I think perhaps the problem is the repetition of basic information – address, drugs and so on.

Rachael Sharples

Clearing the air

A report from the Annual Representative Conference stated that Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments ‘need to be improved to avoid unfair decisions’ (19 March).

That may be the case but to support this statement Damir Ceric quoted the case of Mark Woods who starved to death after being assessed as fit for work. Mr Woods lost his Employment Support Allowance (ESA) – not PIP. Indeed, the only money he had was his Disabled Living Allowance.
Scaremongering and confusion do not help.

Kay McManus

[See: ‘Vulnerable man starved to death after benefits were cut’, The Guardian, 28 February 2014].

Free offer

The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Occupational Health and Ergonomics (ACPOHE) is offering free access to all CSP members to the current edition of our journal, Occupational Health Physiotherapy. This is the first e-publication of the regular journal.

With the emphasis on the health and wellbeing of the working age population, there has never been a more important time to be informed about work relevant physiotherapy practice and changes in the rapidly-evolving field of occupational health.  

The journal also contains details of this year’s ACPOHE conference (16 to 17 May). For more information, visit: www.acpohe.org.uk.

Merrin Froggett, Editor, Occupational Health Physiotherapy

Corrections and clarifications

  • A report in Frontline (page 8, 19 March) stated that the government’s NHS pay proposals were for a two per cent rise in 2015 to 2016 for those NHS staff not getting an incremental increase. As this cost of living increase will not be consolidated – meaning it won’t be pensionable and is not permanent – the two per cent rise in 2015 to 2016 is a two per cent rise on 2013 to 2014 pay rates. In other words, this means a one per cent non-consolidated rise this year and a one per cent rise non-consolidated rise next year. (See also page 16).

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  • A news item on the latest NHS pay award in England, which the CSP said showed ‘complete contempt’ for its members, received an unprecedented number of responses. One anonymous member said: This is unbelievable! We cannot stand by while they make a mockery of our hard work and dedication. Beyond the more ‘selfish’ reasons of wanting to be rewarded for the hard work that we do, how does the government expect to attract top quality professionals. The old adage of paying peanuts springs to mind. This is not the way to create the high quality NHS the government wants to build (made from unicorn tails and fairy dust!).
  • Another said:I hate the way the government try and portray NHS workers as greedy for expecting a small pay increase each year to try and keep up with the rising cost of living. I have worked for the NHS for 10 years and my annual increment this year has meant I’m £50 a month better off, it’s better than nothing but it will be wiped out by the increased cost of my train fare, bills, food shop etc.
  • Another said: The CSP is driven by its members’ wishes and gains strength and respect from linking with other health unions. But our officers can only lead with a mandate from members. We must get behind them and vote in any ballot in huge numbers to demonstrate the strength of feeling on this subject.
  • Leane Owen said: I have been a supporter of David Cameron’s ‘campaign’ to try to improve the country’s economy since he has been in power. However, I cannot understand what logic goes into stopping pay rises for the very people who contribute taxes, national insurance contributions, treat people to help them stay in work, and generally make a serious contribution to supporting the economy – chartered physiotherapists! As a profession we are completely taken for granted.
Frontline Staff

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