Your comments: 5 July 2017

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Bradford breaks the mould

The University of Bradford is launching a Health and Care Professions Council-approved physiotherapy programme. Called MPhysiotherapy (Sport and Exercise Medicine), we believe it is the first integrated master’s course in physiotherapy in the UK with a sport and exercise medicine focus.

After completing the four-year programme, which starts in September, graduates will have a professional master’s-level qualification, opening up a range of career opportunities.

They will have experienced a variety of clinical placements in sport and exercise settings as well as the core areas of physiotherapy. This will allow them to seek employment in a wide range of arenas, such as the NHS, private enterprise and elite sport. As part of its approval process, the CSP commended the programme for its ‘engagement, positivity and open-mindedness towards innovation ’.

Claire Graham, programme lead, school of health studies, University of Bradford. For more information, see:

Thank you kindly

I have just read Karen Middleton’s latest In person column (7 June). Karen wrote about the importance of kindness with compassion and empathy.

I have been a physio for more than 20 years and have worked for the NHS, the military and as a civil servant. For the past 10 years, I have been a serving member of the British Army.

Leadership is always under discussion in my world. I totally agree with Karen: it is the small things that make all the difference and ensure that you as a leader remain grounded and gain respect for the right behaviour.

Well done, Milton Keynes! Physiotherapy does work and we need to be very proud of our profession.

Anne Vickerstaff, physiotherapist in the military

Locum low-point

I would like to tell you what is happening in the world of physiotherapy locums.

First came pay capping: effectively, a 20 per cent pay cut. In April, the tax law changed. Those of us who paid into our own limited companies for NHS work via an agency were no longer allowed to do so. Previously, we received a good hourly rate of pay, but no holiday, no sick pay. We paid corporation tax on our company profit and Class 2 national insurance (NI) contributions

The law changed and we comply with the law. This NHS work must be paid to us via an ‘umbrella’ limited company. They drew us in with promises of holiday and sick pay. Extra few pounds a week? No! It is ‘factored in’ to our existing hourly rate!

We understood we must pay our umbrella limited company a weekly fee to process our time sheets. We got a good deal – £10 a week – others pay a lot more.

We understood we would pay PAYE tax and employee’s NI contributions and were horrified to discover that all other expenses normally covered by an employer would also be deducted from our pay. This means we also pay employer’s NI contributions and apprenticeship levy.

I wanted my professional colleagues to know what is really happening out there – and why few people are now taking locum positions.

Elizabeth Yeates

Frontline and various

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