Neuro physiotherapists need to focus more on prevention, self-management and self-referral to meet the demands of an ageing population.
Karen Middleton: 'Prevention is the only way to deliver sustainable healthcare'
This was the message from CSP chief executive Karen Middleton during a presentation at an inaugural international neuro physiotherapy conference, held in London from 17-18 March.
The event, organised by the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists Interested in Neurology (ACPIN) and the International Neurological Physical Therapy Association (INPA), was the first of its kind and attracted speakers and delegates from around the world.
Ms Middleton told delegates: ‘In the UK we have an ageing population, and the same thing is happening worldwide. As a result, globally there is an increase in demand for your services and for healthcare in general.
‘This increase is due to the fact that as people get older they develop more long-term conditions and more co-morbidities.
‘In a world of increasing demand, and not enough resources, prevention is the only way to deliver sustainable healthcare.’
Neuro physios had an opportunity to position themselves as a solution to the growing demand, she told delegates, by ensuring that they were proactive about prevention, promoting healthier lifestyles and maximising peoples’ independence.
‘You may think that as neuro physios, by the time you get to see the patient it’s too late – they have already had a neurological event - but there is so much you can still do to prevent further morbidity,’ said Ms Middleton.
‘You are good at working in partnership with patients and helping them to achieve their objectives, so you are in a brilliant position to adopt a prevention agenda.
‘But you need to have healthy conversations with patients and their families, and be able to talk about diet, physical activity and the need for patients to look after themselves.’
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