Unaccustomed as I am

Faced with an audience of 70 GPs physio Angela Craxford Snelling broke the ice with an ‘activity snack’

The opportunity to promote physiotherapy at a GP event arose through a contact made working on a falls project pathway with the clinical commissioning group. But it involved a big step out of my comfort zone.

The GPs wanted to hear about falls prevention which is a great passion of mine. However, not accustomed to public speaking I agreed to get involved rather reluctantly. How could I say no to a great chance to promote the powerful role of physiotherapy in falls prevention?

I knew that the CSP had produced a falls prevention animation in 2017 that was ideal for use in GP surgeries, but I didn’t quite understand the technicalities of using it. The CSP’s campaigns and regional engagement team were happy to help. As well as a briefing on the animation, they posted me Get Up & Go booklets and supplements and shared their falls prevention PowerPoint designed especially for GPs. 

I arrived at what I thought would be a small informal gathering and my heart sank. I was faced with 70 people lined up ready to listen to me from a stage. Feeling hugely out of my comfort zone I instructed them to stand up and sit down ten times, a little ‘activity snack.’ This meant they were more focused on what I had to say and demonstrated what I want them to be doing with their patients – getting them active! 

I ran through the falls presentation, handed out the CSP booklets and shared the animation all of which was greeted with ripples of enthusiasm. I must have done something right as I have had two further invites to talk on falls prevention to GPs.

Although presenting at a large event was new and a little daunting, I cannot stress how satisfying it is to have promoted the role of physiotherapy in falls prevention. It’s so important for physios to forge connections with local decision-makers so that we can seize opportunities like this. If I can step out of my comfort zone and do this anyone can. 

  • Angela Craxford Snelling is deputy clinical quality lead (therapy) at Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust

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