Physiotherapy in the news - Covid-19 rehab and lockdown coverage

After the emergence of Covid-19 in the UK, the media spotlight has regularly shone on the work of physiotherapists.


Physios are making a vital contribution in the treatment patients with the virus while others are providing much-needed virtual consultations and advice on a range of other conditions. Following our media highlights piece last month, the CSP's press office has continued to secure coverage of this across national and regional print titles, TV news and online outlets.

In the second month of lockdown, our media coverage has potentially been seen by millions of people via stories in The Times, Telegraph, and on BBC and Channel 4 news channels, amongst others. Here is a selection of those news stories, as we progress past the peak of the pandemic into phased easing of restrictions.


Recovery and rehabilitation

In recent weeks, the media’s focus has turned to the longer term implications of the pandemic. This includes the expected huge demand for rehabilitation for both Covid-19 survivors and those with other conditions who’ve had their treatment disrupted. There have been extensive features in the BMJ, the Independent and The Mirror.

This topic has also been covered by broadcasters, positioning the CSP as an expert voice in rehabilitation. Channel 4 News followed patients and physios recovering in intensive care, and was promoted on Twitter by presenter Cathy Newman, while the BBC talked about the long road to recovery in a broadcast feature followed up with an online piece. And ITV Wales showed the experiences of a patient discharged from hospital. And this week, in print and online, The Telegraph reported that rehabilitation was being overlooked meaning some patients won’t make a full recovery, while the Guardian published an in-depth video of a consultant physiotherapist helping patients to walk for the first time in weeks.


Advice for the public

Our professional advice on being active and staying healthy during lockdown remains of interest to the media, with our members and spokespeople continuing to give interviews and tips. Articles have included post-workout DIY massages in The Times, 'isolation injuries' in the Daily Mail newspaper, and tips to reduce back pain in The Sun online.

We have also been promoting our MSK advice hub of self-management resources supported by NHS England and NHS Improvement. Since its launch, it has been the most viewed public-facing page on our website.

We continue to encourage older people to stay active at home during lockdown. Our animation has been popular on Facebook with over 74,000 views over the past two months, and has now had 163,500 views on YouTube.


Wider contribution

Via the media, we have promoted efforts to lobby the government and stakeholders on matters that affect our members and the profession more broadly. We gained notable coverage of the CSP’s calls to the Home Office to change the visa extension rule, including two pieces in the HSJ and it was referenced on the Guardian’s daily news blog.

There was wide reporting of the CSP, with other trade unions, calling for a commitment to supporting and safeguarding NHS staff as health care services begin to be restored. The Times online ran this story, with additional coverage in the Eastern Daily Press and Morning Star.


Once again we thank all those who helped with media requests - your efforts are greatly appreciated by members as we continue to raise the profile of the profession during this challenging time.

Are you working on something newsworthy or want to share your Covid-related story? Contact the CSP press office.

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