Palliative physio receives Churchill Memorial Trust fellowship

A physiotherapist has received a prestigious fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust which will allow her to gain an international perspective of palliative care.

Physio and Churchill Fellow Kathy Birch

Kathy Birch, programme lead for day services at Princess Alice Hospice in Esher, was awarded the fellowship on 9 March.

The fellowships enable successful applicants to investigate inspiring practice in other countries and return with innovative ideas that could benefit people in the UK.

Mrs Birch applied in the health and wellbeing category with a proposal to extend the scope and reach of palliative day services.

She told Frontline: ‘I am thrilled and honoured to represent physiotherapists and palliative care within this prestigious group of people.

‘I will be travelling to Singapore, Australia and New Zealand for six weeks and set out on 8 May. My itinerary features a number of different locations where physiotherapists are supporting people living with life-limiting illnesses.

‘A Churchill fellowship is for life and I have a responsibility to implement new initiatives and measure the impact of these on my return, as well as supporting future fellows.

‘I will be looking to implement new ideas locally at Princess Alice Hospice, but also nationally through my involvement with the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Oncology and Palliative Care, the Association of Palliative Day Services and Hospice UK.

‘The motto of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust is “Travel to learn, return to inspire” and I hope to do both of those.’

She added that she had applied for the fellowship after seeing a CSP e-bulletin about this last year.

‘I would like to encourage other physiotherapists to consider applying in the future, as not many have received Fellowships in the past,’ she said.

Applications from allied health professionals open this year on 27 April

Mrs Birch is blogging about her fellowship

Author: Robert Millett

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