The annual Scottish National Party (SNP) conference in Aberdeen this week (13 October) provided an opportunity to promote the physiotherapy profession to a wide audience. The CSP joined the ‘healthcare hub’ in hosting a fringe discussion with public health minister, Joe Fitzpatrick MSP and a reception with Jeane Freeman MSP, cabinet secretary for health.
The Holyrood Communications ‘Public Health Debate’ was chaired by journalist and broadcaster Pennie Taylor and was well attended by conference delegates. On the panel were Dr Lewis Morrison, Chair of the British Medical Association Scotland (BMA), Graeme Sneddon, Communications Officer at the British Lung Foundation Scotland (BFL), Kenryck Lloyd-Jones, Public Affairs Manager at CSP Scotland and Joe Fitzpatrick MSP, minister for public health.
The expanding role of physiotherapists as first contact practitioners in GP settings was welcomed by the audience and panellists alike, and the discussion highlighted the potential of physiotherapy to transform health services by focussing on restoring and maintaining health through rehabilitation, early intervention, preventative and anticipatory care.
The evening reception hosted an audience with Jeane Freeman MSP, cabinet secretary for health. CSP staff Sara Conroy, professional adviser for Scotland and Kenryck Lloyd-Jones met with Ms Freeman and discussed the pressing need to secure funding to expand physiotherapy training places at Scottish universities, a matter that Ms Freeman agreed to urgently address.
Speaking at the event, Kenryck Lloyd-Jones said, “It’s been a very valuable engagement, and really encouraging to hear the support in the audience for extending physiotherapy in primary care. Questions from service users, local councillors and national representatives stressed the need for better public information and future investment, which all chime with the CSP message.”
Mr Lloyd-Jones added, “we are also grateful to the cabinet secretary for personally picking up the issue of physiotherapy workforce planning and look forward to meetings with the Scottish government health directorate later this month”
Picture: Kenryck Lloyd-Jones (CSP), Jeane Freeman MSP and Sara Conroy (CSP) at the health hub reception at the SNP conference.
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