Your comments: 2 March 2016

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

Visit to Number 10, Downing Street 

It was great to have the opportunity to represent the CSP in a delegation – that included our professional colleagues, the midwives – handing in a 200,000-strong petition to 10 Downing Street against the Trade Union Bill. This was my contribution to a week of activity last month promoting the good work of trade unions across the country. 
Recently, I’ve been spurred into action by my opposition to the current government’s unfair policies towards NHS staff and unions. Together with other health union reps, I’ve attended a number of marches and rallies. I hope, by my activity, I can also raise awareness and encourage more CSP members to get involved in our union. Together, we can make a difference! 
  • Melissa Jackson, CSP steward, Homerton University Hospital, London 

From the heart

I was really proud to be involved in the recent Heart Unions Week, which aimed to promote the positive role of unions. 
I became aware of the campaign at the CSP stewards induction course in January. The following week, at our trust’s monthly staff side meeting, I discussed it with other staff union reps and management (most were unaware of it before this point) and we agreed to have a stand to raise awareness of the campaign. 
I was particularly keen to run an event as, from chatting to other physio staff, there appeared to be little awareness among them of the government’s Trade Union Bill, despite sending them emails and raising it at staff meetings. A stand in a prominent position (with a flag and freebies) was sure to grab people’s attention!
I designed the stand and staffed it on the day with help from CSP organiser Kevin Dale. Another local trust union rep designed and put up posters to advertise the stand and helped me pack up. Thanks also to the regional TUC rep who provided freebies, as well as the flag and tablecloth!
The day went well: 20-odd staff and patients declared their love for unions in photos the CSP shared with the wider public via Twitter; many signed the mass petition to David Cameron against the bill; and, hopefully, we gained some new members – particularly CSP associates. I’m still wearing my ‘heart unions’ pin badge to work as a way to get people talking about unions!
  • Nicola Powell, CSP steward, Frimley Park Hospital, Surrey 

Proudly independent 

I am to responding to Tobias Bremer’s email titled Private matters. He commented on Liz Cowan’s article  which she wrote after CSP chief executive Karen Middleton visited my practice to learn about our work.
Frontline’s decision to publish our Twitter handle provoked a wave of positive chatter and, far from ‘polarising’ the profession, it prompted an invitation to co-host a tweet chat on #physiotalk about working together, concurrent treatment by private and NHS physios, scheduled for 21 March.
Practices in the independent sector are as diverse as the specialities in physiotherapy, and my business represents a growing number of well-established neurological practices.  Hence the business model on which it is based will be different to a musculoskeletal practice. I would like to assure Mr Bremer and anyone considering setting up a neurological practice that my business of 16 years employing 14 talented staff is not based on ‘quicksand’.
I agree with Mr Bremer that we need to ‘move forward as a cohesive profession striving to do the best for our patients’. I hope Liz’s and Mr Bremer’s submissions will inspire independent sector members to share their opinions, experiences and outcomes in Frontline. The independent sector has a lot to offer. 
  • Susan Pattison, Susan Pattison Therapy Services

Psychosexual first 

Four specialist physiotherapists in Scotland, including me, are the first allied health professionals to be awarded diplomas by the Institute of Psychosexual Medicine.  We all work in pelvic floor dysfunction.
  • Kate Lough, Glasgow Caledonian University
Frontline and various

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