To support members to get involved with our Stronger My Way campaign, the CSP has developed top tips with first contact physios (FCPs) in mind
First contact physios have a fantastic opportunity to start conversations with patients about the benefits of getting stronger and being more physically active.
CSP head of campaigns and regional engagement Jennie Edmondson explained:
We know how much there is to cover in a single consultation.
‘While physiotherapists often won’t have enough time to take patients through all the many benefits of strengthening, they can direct them to our evidence-based resources to help them get started – in their own time.’
The Royal College of GPs’s lifestyle and physical activity clinical champion Hussain Al-Zubaidi said: ‘GP surgeries are the most used point of access to health care – so what better place to get people moving for health.
‘Physiotherapists lead the way in their understanding of the biomechanics of the human body and patients’ appreciation of physios’ skillset in this regard mean they are well-placed to gain their trust and help educate them on the importance of activity to maintain, improve and protect health.
‘The introduction of physios into primary care networks has been an invaluable addition to the primary care workforce, adding their expertise into the skill mix.’
FCPs who are keen to further promote strengthening and active lifestyles are encouraged to check out the RCGP’s Active Practice Charter, which supports GP practices to raise awareness of the simple changes that can improve the physical and mental wellbeing of patients and staff.
Dr Al-Zubaidi said: ‘With the growing push towards a more active nation, the RCGP encourages all surgeries/PCNs to become “active practices”.
‘To do this they need to demonstrate simple ways in which they reduce sedentary behaviour and increase physical activity in both staff and patients. We have found that some of the most effective local champions at practice and PCN level have been FCPs and we strongly promote their involvement in the programme.’
As frontline healthcare professionals it is key we practice what we preach if we want others to follow suit.
‘Sharing our own lived experiences of the real-life benefits of physical activity is a powerful tool in inspiring others to get moving as well.
‘Up to five years ago I’d lived a very sedentary lifestyle. I knew that physical activity was beneficial for our health and I did often try to explain this to patients but found I was ineffective at achieving significant behaviour change.
‘It was my own personal journey to healthier activity levels which resulted in my understanding and awareness of the benefits to grow.
‘Now it forms an integral part of my life and I value it as much as I do sleep and nutrition. We all start somewhere, and it is never too late regardless of age or health condition.
‘There is always some movement that is safe, effective and enjoyable for our patients.
‘Now I find it considerably easier to achieve behaviour change in my patients as I am more passionate, knowledgeable and comfortable talking about physical activity.’
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