Your comments: 2 September 2015

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Career boost

I recently received an award from the CSP Charitable Trust towards my MSc studies. I would encourage anyone considering postgraduate study to apply as it can only enhance your career. Thanks to the trust and the assessors for giving me this award. It will make a big difference in how quickly I can finish my studies, and I’m motivated to study even harder! Visit:
  • Cecile HoSang 

Look to the future

Seed-funded by the British Thoracic Society and NHS England, the Respiratory futures programme is for all UK professionals with a shared interest in improving respiratory healthcare. We aim to promote great examples of innovation to help inspire further ideas, collaboration and a ‘do once and share’ approach for improving patient outcomes. Respiratory physiotherapists clearly have a critical role in managing long-term respiratory conditions, so we are especially keen to hear CSP members’ views.
We can host a webinar on a topic that’s particularly close to your professional hearts, something edgy to attract and highlight a range of views. We can also celebrate news about an interesting pilot study or key milestone achieved, provide dedicated webspace for your programme of national interest, and create features or case studies about work you’d like to share more widely. 
Please email me with your ideas at or visit our website
  • Aileen Muir, programme lead, Respiratory Futures 

‘Hare-brained’ column

I read the article titled ‘Tackle inequality and improve health’ (page 20, 5 August) and felt so strongly I had to respond. I have never seen so much rubbish squeezed into half a page. Why is CSP effectively advertising an organisation, which is more or less trying to increase its funding through some hare-brained suggestions? I quote: ‘We must introduce monitoring of sexual orientation and gender identity to establish a baseline in terms of access.’ Why, exactly? Do people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT) not get referred by GPs because of their sexuality or is their back pain ignored because of it? 
‘There are many excellent LGBT-specific services all over the UK.’ Seriously? Does Rainbow Project want segregation? Being in Belfast have they learned nothing from the school segregation along Catholic and Protestant lines? It also mentions ‘higher levels of alcohol, smoking and drug misuse, an increased risk of homelessness, higher levels of obesity among LGBT women, poor uptake of cancer screening programmes, and, importantly for physiotherapy staff, barriers to accessing healthcare services’. Has Maeve O’Neill heard of the concepts of stereotypes and capacity? If homophobia is to be battled then stereotypes cannot be used when it suits and for me this is the worst form of discrimination. 
  • Vas Karpouzis
The CSP responds: Research by Stonewall and others has consistently shown that the LGBT community, for a range of complex reasons, do have specific healthcare needs and that discrimination against LGBT individuals in health and social care remains a significant problem. Discrimination itself impacts negatively on health. Stonewall’s recent Unhealthy attitudes report noted that a quarter of LGBT staff working in health had witnessed their colleagues making discriminatory and offensive remarks. Visit for more information. The CSP fully supports the Rainbow Project and other organisations that provide a safe space for minority groups to access health and social care specific to their needs. 
  • Jess Belmonte, CSP national officer for research and equality
Frontline and various

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