In the swim

Following the article in Frontline on aquatic physiotherapy (4 May), the Aquatic Therapy Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (ATACP) committee has received numerous requests for further information about the assessment process that leads to an ATACP/CSP endorsed certificate in aquatic physiotherapy.

The basic requirement is for any Health Professions Council-registered physiotherapist to complete the two-day foundation course in aquatic physiotherapy, led by an ATACP-accredited tutor. If you took this course some time ago but are still working regularly in the water, you can still apply as long as you can furnish a copy of your certificate.

The foundation course used to go under the name ‘Level One’ course and physios who did this course are still eligible. The ATACP recommend that you complete around 50 hours in the water post-course before you apply, to allow sufficient consolidation of skills and reflection regarding changes to practice.

You will have to produce a case study, and when this has been passed, you will undertake a written short question paper and a practical assessment of your skills.

The next assessment day will be on 19 November in south Wales, so your application will need to be in by 5 August, and the case study submitted by 1 October.

Detailed information including an application form is in the documents section of the aquatic physiotherapy network on iCSP.  We are also running (in conjunction with University of Hertfordshire) a Survey Monkey about MSc modules in aquatic physiotherapy. We expect that a successfully completed assessment would be the entry criterion for undertaking the modules.
Mike Maynard ATACP Committee, by email

Cuba tour

I read with interest the advertisement in your 20 April edition regarding Frontline and Interchange organising an opportunity for physiotherapists to visit Cuba and experience their healthcare system.

I would like to highlight the fact that the CSP affiliates to the Cuba Solidarity Campaign and has done so for a number of years following a decision by Annual Representatives Conference.

This is a voluntary organisation that supports: respect for Cuba’s sovereignty and independence; an end to the US trade blockade of Cuba; and an end to interference in Cuba’s affairs by foreign governments.

Although it is refreshing to read about how renowned Cuba’s medical system is, I feel it is important to highlight the difficult political climate in which Cuba has had to develop itself over the last 50 years.

 For those interested in learning more please see
 Lynn Murray, CSP Regional Steward Scotland

Safe and sound

As a physio and Body Control Pilates instructor I am delighted to see the value of Pilates gaining interest in our profession (Frontline, 16 March).

If taught properly, Pilates is safe and anatomically sound and beneficial for all age groups and abilities. When I trained,we worked with a lot of dancers. As a physio I was fascinated by their view of alignment and balance, I learned to appreciate the ‘art and harmony of movement’.

 I believe Pilates is a hugely valuable addition to our skills. And people enjoy it.
Pam Davis (by email)

Corrections and clarifications

Welsh health boards are to receive up to £21.5 million to speed up orthopaedic waiting treatment and not £21.5 billion as we reported (Frontline 15 June, page 9).

Burning Question

What does an honorary contract mean?

Honorary contracts are normally provided to staff for a research or teaching capacity where the individual is primarily employed by an NHS organisation or a higher educational institute. They may be funded or unfunded and will be time limited.

The contract allows the employee to be covered by the NHS indemnity scheme, while the substantive employer (the higher education institute) remains accountable for their actions.

The pre-engagement checks are maintained by the substantive employer and therefore usually waived by the organisation providing the honorary contract.

The contract will come into question if the primary employment is discontinued for any reason and there can be questions about whether time spent on an honorary contract should be recognised as continuous service, so always seek advice from your workplace steward on if you are offered one.

This is intended as general information only and does not replace individual advice.

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