In person: at the ready

CEO Karen Middleton says that CSP staff are keen to visit members – but rather than calling the shots, want to put the power in the members’ hands.

I recently attended an East Midlands Regional Network event that combined its annual general meeting (AGM) with a day about influencing – which included methods ranging from face to face, to organising, to using social media. 
What struck me about this event was that it demonstrated all the things we have been striving to do as CSP staff with, and alongside, members. 
Our Countries and Regional Engagement Team, through Catherine Chappell, had been behind the organisation of this event, with local members coming up with ideas about speakers and using their contacts and networks. It was a collaboration between members and staff to make the best use of everyone’s skills and experience. 
The purpose of the day was clear – providing advice on how to influence the decision-makers who are critical to ensuring high-quality patient care. Or how to influence the people who influence them, even.  
The network had identified that the CSP staff can inform the members about national and even local developments, such as the detail of the local Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs). But it is local, ongoing influencing that will inform decision-makers about the role of physiotherapy services in transforming services for patients locally. And that is best performed by those who know best: you, the members.
Across the UK, the CSP needs to influence in different ways. There is a difference between how much emphasis we give to national versus local influencing; the different healthcare systems across the countries of the UK require different approaches and routes in; and even within one country, there is huge local variation. 
Collaboration between CSP staff and members is the most effective way of making an impact and working with you more locally, whether on a country or network basis, has been our mission. Also, we have been aiming to support you with the development of the skills you need to be influential.
But we can’t do all that from Bedford Row or the Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales offices. The staff’s role has been to assist and enable members – something all those working in physiotherapy are familiar with –  and I think this has the benefit of not only being more impactful, but also allows members to develop skills and experience above and beyond their clinical expertise. It means that working on behalf of the profession also contributes to your personal development, your continuing professional development and your CV.
As the proposed changes to the governance of the CSP become clearer, the nearer we get to the AGM in November, I also hope you will see how we plan to engage you in the work of the profession and the CSP differently. 
By that I mean, as well the staff supporting you locally, we want a more diverse cross-section of the membership to engage in the work we do centrally on behalf of the whole profession. We want to do this in ways that reflect the realities of your working life, where committing to long-term and regular involvement is difficult, where we use technology better and more efficiently and where we are inclusive of the diversity of thought in our membership and where we seek out the right expertise for whatever we are working on.
The CSP is a member-led organisation and, whatever the governance, this must remain at the core of how we work. The collaboration of staff with expertise in particular aspects of what needs to be delivered and members with the local knowledge and physiotherapy expertise is a powerful one. 
We must make sure we maximise this combination to achieve maximum impact. As I’ve said before, many times, no one else is going to do it for us! fl

Contact Karen    


Karen Middleton Chief Executive Officer CSP

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