Your comments: 17 February 2016

Here are your comments on topics covered in the last two weeks. We look forward to hearing from you.

Don’t forget Nepal

Since the earthquake in Nepal last April demand for physiotherapy has rocketed because of the large number of people who were injured. The Leprosy Mission England and Wales supports a hospital in Anandaban, southern Nepal, where they have been providing post-operation and injury rehabilitation even for those who do not have leprosy, as it’s the only hospital for miles.  To find out more visit The Leprosy mission here
  • Rose Taylor, media and publications officer, Leprosy Mission England and Wales

Wheelchair mission

The topic of equipment donation has sparked a lot of discussion in the ADAPT community, the professional network for Chartered Physiotherapists in International Health and Development.  We discussed the matter at a study day and the topic remains ongoing. 
The need for assistive devices such as wheelchairs in less resourced countries is clear. However there have been many examples of how supply of equipment has not matched the true need, leading to provision of equipment not suitable for the environment, or suboptimal seating causing more harm than good. We are interested in how Michael Shakey, the Through the Roof charity, or any other readers who are experienced in this field have tackled these issues, and how they augment current practice. The summary of our debate and a consensus ADAPT opinion can be found here at ADAPT FAQ'S.  We would welcome your comments on this.
Guidelines on the provision of manual wheelchairs in less-resourced countries have been published by the World Health Organization (WHO). They highlight that wheelchair provision can make the difference between exclusion call for:
  • wheelchairs must meet individual needs and environmental conditions. 
  • guidance on the design and selection of wheelchairs and how to produce and supply them. 
  • collaboration with related services for strategic service delivery is essential. 
  • training for wheelchair providers is essential. 
  • the role of policy and policy-makers in wheelchair provision, with emphasis on cost-effectiveness and sustainability. 
Readers who are interested in volunteering with Through the Roof or any other organisation working in low or middle income countries are encouraged to join ADAPT.  Online registration makes it is even easier to join us.  Visit our website here
  • Hannah Louissaint, public relations officer, ADAPT (for the ADAPT committee)

Private matters

Being a physiotherapist in private practice I was taken a back a little by the article titled ‘Is the grass really greener.’  
Liz Cowan works as a neuro-physiotherapist dealing with patients who are undergoing legal cases and claims. This is a very small representation of the private sector, most of it made up of practitioners specialising in the musculoskeletal (MSK) field. 
The society that represents physiotherapists in private practice, Physio First, runs business courses in which you will see how building your business on medico-legal cases is building a business on quicksand as well as devaluing the service you offer and the profession as a whole.
Liz also raises the fact that she now works to outcome measures and measurable standards; surely this is the same in the NHS? By measuring your outcomes you can add real value to your business or service as you have the data to prove your worth. 
Such a polarising article does nothing to move us forward as a cohesive profession striving to do the best for our patients. 
  • Tobias Bremer, clinical director and lead physiotherapist, Brighton Physio Clinic.
Frontline and various

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