Letters: lung care, bullying and RIo

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Filling the gap

A report on ‘Patients’ views on lung cancer care’ (page 34, 1 January) highlighted a ‘general lack of support and information’ being given to patients and carers.    

At Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust we run a lung supportive care clinic alongside the medical lung cancer clinic.

It contains a specialist physio, occupational therapist and a dietician. Patients are seen from diagnosis and supported throughout their treatment to end of life care.

This ensures that lung cancer patents have access to cancer rehabilitation services, managing the effects of cancer treatment and supporting them with specialist interventions in a timely manner.

This model allows for any questions and specific physiotherapy problems to be addressed rapidly at ward rounds or within lung clinics, resulting in optimal and a seamless care approach to patients.

We also offer a living well group programme; this is run with a clinical nurse specialist, physiotherapist, occupational therapist and a dietician.  Tom Fynmore

I too was bullied

Reading the report titled ‘Students feel the pain of bullying’ brought back memories of when I was bullied as a student (page 18, 1 January).

Students on placement are under a lot of pressure to perform; having to complete their coursework for both placement and degree, and also be a perfect all rounder at the same time.

It’s critical that universities listen to their students’ views on bullying, with safeguards against any potential repercussions with grades.

Training in communication techniques and mentoring skills should be considered a higher priority if future generations of students are to be able to work in a supportive, constructive placement environment.

Bullying shouldn’t be accepted or dismissed as part and parcel of being a student. Charmaine Lee

Jennifer Duthie, CSP professional adviser, responds: Bullying should not be tolerated in any circumstances.
If you experience bullying, refer to relevant organisational guidelines and share your concerns with anyone (perhaps a manager, practice educator, university tutor or CSP rep) who can support you to take action to protect yourself.

You will also find helpful resources on the CSP website. and search for ‘bullying’. See also page 29

Blame it on RIo

The daily realities of ‘going digital’ in the NHS are not quite as rosy as one might think from reading ‘Opportunity knocks’ (page 32, 22 January). As more of a digital naïf than a digital native, I found the transfer from paper to computer diary (RIo) traumatic.

The computing is not difficult. I have upskilled! However, it is so time consuming that our service is now much more focused on administration to the detriment of time with clients.

Add to that, the fragility of the computers, smart cards and RIo itself and we struggle on a daily basis. On top of that come the system updates which lose appointments and the migration to a new OS and so on.

We get seriously stressed!  Colleagues in an outpatient department report that they have lost control of their workload due to ‘choose and book’.  Colleagues in the community report that writing paperless notes for a new client takes up to an hour.

If we want a paperless NHS we will have to choose between doing less with clients or increasing staffing levels.  Going digital simply takes much longer. It is also much less flexible and adaptable. After two years with RIo, I cannot face paperless notes. Ready or not, I will retire. Helen Lawrence 

Corrections and clarifications

  • To find out more about the CSP Charitable Trust and funding opportunities, visit nthe CSP website and search for ‘research fund 2014’ (page 16, 5 February).
  • Only 19% of adults in England aged from 65-74 meet the government’s recommended minimum level of exercise (not 75-74) (page 29, 22 January).

You’ve ADDed...

The article on Karen Middleton in the last issue of Frontline brought the following comment:

  • As an associate member I have followed Karen’s career at DH with interest. I first met her at assistant conferences where she always gave motivational talks. She is always approachable and willing to listen. I am so pleased the CSP role came along before West Ham needed a manager! Angela Brett

A news item titled ‘CSP and Macmillan Cancer Support guide highlights cancer care issues for physiotherapists’ prompted two responses from members.

Jemma1 said: I think this is incredibly well put together and very helpful. Thanks.

and Jane.Gow1 added: Having worked in palliative care for nearly 28 years I find this an excellent piece of work and will be very useful to all non-specialist physios in cancer care.

On reading that a ‘Physio-led course helps sixth formers prepare for interviews for AHP university courses’, cmanning said: It is a shame there has to be a fee for this, as students that are from more disadvantaged backgrounds may not be able to afford this and they may not get the same support from home or school.

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