Meet the new CSP Council members

Who are the newly elected members of the CSP Council? How do they feel to have been elected and what are they most looking forward to about being on council? 

CSP Council election
LtoR Ishmael, Alexandra, Gemma, Reshma, Leanne, Justine

Ishmael Beckford 

I am very proud to have been elected as it is an important professional achievement, but also its collective significance as a member of an under-represented marginalised community

I graduated as a physio from the University of Nottingham in 2006. 

I entered MSK private practice and built up experience in a small supportive clinic, gradually gaining exposure to occupational health focused work. This then led to opportunities working in high-profile organisations as an occupational health physiotherapist. I developed expertise in this space as part of an award-winning team. 

After several years I moved back into private practice and took up leadership positions, including as a clinical manager and operations lead. These roles had the overlapping focus of building teams capable of delivering services which exceeded expectations whilst achieving sustainable growth. 

To improve my non-clinical competencies, I completed a leadership and management in health MSc in 2017. 

Since then, I have succeeded working as a service lead in an improving access to psychological therapy service and progressed into a director role with my current employer Vita Health Group (VHG). VHG is a large independent provider of physical and mental health services within the public, corporate and private sectors. I have a broad ranging portfolio of responsibilities covering elements of clinical operations, equality diversity and inclusion (EDI), sustainability, and marketing. 

In addition to this I am an active member of the CSP’s BAME network, I sit on the Charitable Trust’s Education Awards Panel and support students as a Kingston University Beyond Barriers mentor.

Reshma Patel  

Clinical lead and professional head of physiotherapy, North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust From September, I will be clinical business unit manager for specialist services, Central London Community Healthcare.

The main bulk of my career has been in neuro-musculoskeletal physiotherapy both in the NHS and private practice covering paediatrics, adults, as well as women’s health. In 2014 I took up an operational manager role in MSK and after maternity leave, I decided to pursue a career in management with some clinical work. 

I am looking forward to meeting all the council members and working with them over the next few years. I am also looking forward to working with members to drive important agendas forward. I cannot wait to get started and want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who voted for me. 

Alexandra Spearritt 

Deputy divisional director of allied health professions, Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Trust

I have been a member of the CSP since I was a student and I have been a chartered physiotherapist for 19 years. During this time I have worked within the NHS and private sectors and across adult, paediatric, in-patient, out-patient and community settings as a clinician and more recently in managerial roles within therapies. I am an active member of the CSP and have had the opportunity throughout my career to gain experience as a CSP health and safety rep, workplace steward, and regional steward for Cheshire, Mersey and the Isle of Man.

I have a keen interest in trade unionism and I am passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion, and AHP leadership development in healthcare. I feel extremely privileged to have been elected and given this opportunity – thank you to those who voted for me. I’m now looking forward to working alongside colleagues on council to represent members and influence strategies, champion EDI issues that impact under-represented groups of the membership, and challenge traditional senior leadership roles within healthcare to enable physiotherapists to take up these positions. 

Leanne Antoine 

Clinical lead and director Distinct hysiotherapy, Radlett, Hertfordshire I have spent the last 20 years serving patients and working within physiotherapy.

I started my career as a physiotherapy assistant that had a huge desire to become a physiotherapist. The core of me has always enjoyed working with people and that passion remains.

There are very few words to describe how I feel about becoming a council member. Our world feels like it is transitioning and evolving in many ways. What I do know is that I am actively contributing to a world within physiotherapy that I want to see in the future and that feels exceedingly good. I feel like I owe this step in my career to many people who have supported me thus far and I share this achievement wholeheartedly with them. I look forward to serving the members, raising the visibility of the CSP and upholding the commitments within my address. 

Thank you to every member that voted in this year’s election but a special thank you to those that voted for me. 

Justine Croxton 

I am honoured and humbled by the trust and confidence you have shown in me by allowing me to represent you on the CSP Council.

My work has always been about making the lives of others better, not only the patients but my colleagues from all professions.

This role will enable me to continue with this mission, representing members at a strategic level. As patient safety, innovation and governance lead for defence primary healthcare, I have the responsibility for assuring Defence Medical Services that service personnel are receiving equitable, high-quality care across the east region of England.

I started my career in Yorkshire before moving to Scotland and am eternally grateful to the late Patricia Waddington at Manchester School of Physiotherapy for transforming me into a professional, dedicated and capable physiotherapist. 

Lifelong learning is essential to continually challenge and innovate. I completed an BSc in health studies from Glasgow Caledonian University and a MSc in quality improvement from the University of Dundee. These were completed whilst bringing up a family and working full time. This developed resilience, time management and self-discipline, all of which I know will be essential in this role.

Over the years I have worked across many specialities including the private sector. I worked as a volunteer in Egypt and continue to contribute time to Scottish Hockey and the Princes Trust. I have been an activist as a CSP health and safety representative, providing experience of representing members. My proudest moments are seeing colleagues achieving prodigious things however big or small.

Gemma Scott 

Senior specialist physiotherapist (occupational health), King’s College Hospital, London 

In 2007 my father died. This experience made me re-evaluate my career choices, so I left my job in geographical information systems (map-based statistics) and applied for a job as a band 3 rehabilitation assistant at City and Hackney NHS.

There, I met an inspirational team that contained physiotherapy graduates from South Bank/University of East London (UEL) who had worked as physiotherapy assistants/interns and qualified through work. In 2009 I started my paid physiotherapy internship at Barts and the Royal London Hospital with academic support from UEL.

I graduated in Olympic year 2012 and went on to work for a variety of organisations (including Harrods and the BBC). There I would gain an in-depth experience of occupational health and musculoskeletal physiotherapy. I now lead a small but brilliant team of physiotherapists whose role is to rehabilitate staff back to health and work. 

I am most looking forward to being able to hear the voices of those in other regions and work with colleagues to represent those voices on a national platform. I am excited to be in this privileged position and plan to use the next four years to champion your views and work towards making a positive difference to our physiotherapy community. 

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