Physios need to look at professionalism

CSP chair of council Dr Helena Johnson is encouraging members to refer to the society’s guidance on professional practice after the release of the hard-hitting report on failings at Stafford Hospital earlier this month.

In his recommendations, Robert Francis QC called for the whole culture of the NHS to change if another scandal like that seen at Stafford was to be avoided.

‘The CSP obviously welcomes the Francis recommendations,’ Dr Johnson said. ‘What happened in Mid Staffordshire should never happen again – but it might unless we are all vigilant.’

Meanwhile, council members will examine the implications of the Francis report at their next quarterly council meeting on 20 March.

They are expected to discuss how physiotherapists can contribute to the debate on NHS standards and systems.

‘The CSP has a good record of support for members faced with difficult challenges on patient care,’ said CSP chief executive Phil Gray.

‘Patient care and patient safety – not balancing the finances of hospitals – must be the priority.’

Dr Johnson reminded members that CSP has issued guidance to help them deliver quality services in increasingly difficult times.

‘Our Code of Professional Practice is based on a person-centred approach to professionalism, putting patients’ and clients’ needs to the fore.

‘And our Duty of Care guidance may help staff who worry about what’s happening to patients where they work,’ she said.

‘As a CSP member, if you are concerned about standards where you work, or any potential threat to quality patient services, we would urge you to contact the CSP’s Professional Advice Service or your CSP steward.’

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What is the Francis report?

The Francis report follows a full public inquiry into the ‘appalling standards’ found at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, which the Healthcare Commission said had resulted in from 400 to 1,200 more people dying than would have been expected in the period 2005 to 2008.

After a major investigation in 2009, the Healthcare Commission issued a damning list of failings at the trust, including inadequately trained nursing staff and junior doctors being left in charge at night.

Mr Francis’s latest report makes 290 wide-ranging recommendations ‘designed to change the culture and make sure patients come first’.

The full report is available at:

Sally Priestley

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