A review of 2018

Highlights of an eventful 12 months in the physiotherapy calendar

A review of the year 2018

Physiotherapy UK

The 2018 CSP conference and trade exhibition was one of the most successful in recent years. More than 1200 people attended the annual gathering which was held at the ICC in Birmingham in October.

There was a varied programme of presentations and CPD events over the two days and attendees heard from more than 350 speakers. The poster presentations were particularly well received and this year’s event saw the highest number of abstracts ever submitted.

Preparations are already under way for Phyiotherapy UK 2019 in Birmingham from November 1-2 so save the date in your diary!

First contact physiotherapy 

This is now a key part of government plans for primary care across all four UK countries. Musculoskeletal (MSK) health issues account for around 1 in 5 of all GP appointments, and most of these patients could instead be seeing a physiotherapist from the start. This not only reduces pressure on GPs but also gives patients direct access to physiotherapists’ expertise, and means that assessment, diagnosis and management advice can all be physio-led.

During 2018, achievements included the publication of new guidance and practical advice for GPs and commissioners in England and Wales. Developed with the British Medical Association and the Royal College of General Practitioners, it sets out the benefits, the funding options and the practical considerations of implementing and evaluating General Practice physiotherapy roles. 

Into 2019, the CSP will continue to work with key decision makers to support the development, implementation and evaluation of these services, and keep our profession at the forefront of service transformation in musculoskeletal primary care. CSP members are providing valuable insight by coming together through our primary care transformation network to share their experiences and help shape our guidance 
and tools. 

Pinpoint the pressure

Pinpoint the Pressure, a CSP campaign to target stress and workload saw success in all four countries during 2018. The campaign, which started in 2017, was supported centrally by the CSP and organised locally, allowing members to collectively pinpoint and relieve workplace pressures. Local CSP reps report that the campaign has resulted in more staff, management support, clinical supervision and administrative time, staff taking proper rest breaks and greater sharing of the on-call load. It has also seen improved CPD opportunities and support for training, greater access to ICT and equipment, a better work environment and improved rest and refreshment facilities. Work to address workplace pressures continues into 2019.

Public sector pay

Our work around public sector pay has led to breakthrough pay deals in England, Scotland and Wales, following seven years of pay restraint. A total of 6,500 members attended more than 250 workplace meetings to discuss the proposals, before voting emphatically to accept the negotiated deal. We continue to pursue progress in Northern Ireland and for members working outside the NHS. 

CSP website

Last year saw a relaunch of the CSP website. Using feedback from members and site visitors, we made improvements to the content, design and navigation, giving members easy access to relevant and valuable content and knowledge-sharing opportunities. More than half of visits to the site are now from mobile devices and the new site is easily accessible and navigable, however you choose to view it. We will continue to develop our digital presence to promote our public and influencing materials and further boost physiotherapy’s reach.  


We reached a record figure of almost 58,000 members in 2018, with nine out of ten registered physiotherapists choosing to be part of the CSP. Our members ARE the profession and all of the achievements highlighted here depend on the insight, effort and collaboration of each and every individual member. If we all work together we can be a massive force for positive change.

Hip fracture rehab

The CSP’s new standards for physiotherapy hip fracture rehabilitation were launched at Physiotherapy UK 2018 to a positive response from delegates. The standards are shaped by data captured in our Hip Sprint audit, a collaboration with the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) examining care pathways for hip fracture rehabilitation across England and Wales. The evidence-based standards are the first of their kind for hip fracture, and show what good hip fracture physiotherapy rehab looks like. Members can use these to assess their current service performance and identify areas for improvement.

Delays in starting treatment after a hip operation can have devastating and long-lasting consequences for a person’s physical and mental health and may prevent someone from regaining the strength and mobility they need to avoid falls and fractures in the future. Our cover feature explores this in more detail and illustrates the positive effects of an integrated rehab service. 

Love activity, Hate exercise?

In our biggest public campaign to date, members are helping people, particularly those with long-term conditions, to recognise and overcome the barriers to being more physically active. Love activity, Hate exercise? recognises that people often have a love/hate relationship with physical activity and exercise but with our newly produced materials, tips and ideas, we hope to provide physios with the resources to help patients overcome these barriers. During 2018, more than 2,000 members signed up to run local awareness and influencing events, and the initial campaign video attracted more than 80,000 views on Facebook alone. Only 50 per cent of UK adults do the recommended minimum of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each week. Our campaign aims to improve this by focusing on people who find it difficult to start and maintain exercise.

CSP council

The new CSP council, comprising 12 members elected to lead the profession, is now up and running, as a central outcome of the 2017 member-led governance review. The slimmed-down council, working alongside three committees, is able to be more agile, focusing on the most important strategic issues, bringing in specialist expertise in flexible ways to inform its discussions. A further outcome of the review was the appointment of two specialist external experts as volunteer members of the finance, resources and audit committee

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