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Crisis at Christmas
As Public Health England reveals, cases of tuberculosis (TB) in England have declined over the past four years, yet cases linked to homelessness have not. Homelessness and poor health have long been closely linked, with homeless people often struggling to access primary care services and instead needing prolonged unscheduled hospital admissions. One charity working hard to bridge this gap is Crisis.
Over Christmas, Crisis provides homeless people with shelter, food, entertainment, practical support and health services, including physiotherapy. Although ‘Crisis at Christmas’ only runs for six days each year, last year 194 physiotherapy sessions were provided in London. Homeless people using this service said they found it to be beneficial and assisted their understanding of how physiotherapy could help them.
Crisis is looking to recruit volunteer qualified and student physiotherapists to help run their London service over Christmas 2016. Other cities include Coventry, Birmingham and Newcastle.
If you would like to volunteer as a qualified or student physiotherapist in London.
- Jo Dawes, senior lecturer in physiotherapy, St George’s, University of London and Kingston University
Thanks so much for writing that article about our YouTube film about the complex regional pain syndrome service, and for publicising the film (page 8, 21 September).
We have had a lot more views and this hopefully will translate into more people knowing about us and more people with CRPS getting the help they need.
I was just a little concerned about the part where you said that it was available to patients in England. This is not quite right; we are funded by NHS England to see patients from all over England but we do see those from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland where prior funding has been approved. We also see patients from further afield too. I don’t want those therapists outside of England to be completely put off referring patients to us!
- Emma Houlihan, senior physiotherapist, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome service, Royal United Hospitals, Bath
I was there
I attended the rally earlier this month in Birmingham (page 14) about austerity measures because I am passionate about equity of access to health care, and the NHS as a provider of that care.
I feel that it is important that chartered physiotherapists are seen as patient advocates who take a stance against unfair cuts in care provision and limiting access to health care. Taking a stance is an implicit part of being a caring health professional.
The weather was great bonus and holding the CSP banner aloft (although not personally!) engendered a sense of pride. But more importantly, it had the desired effect of making people look up and take notice of the important messages which were being conveyed. The march symbolised that the profession is not passive in the face of threats to the NHS. As a CSP member, vice president and educator, the opportunity to pin my colour to the CSP mast was an opportunity in which I needed no encouragement.
- Dr Melrose Stewart, lecturer, University of Birmingham
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