Are you going to be the solution or the problem?

This blog has taken me a while to write because there has been so many fantastic accounts by Physiotherapy Students and Physiotherapists alike. Here are a few links below apologies if I have forgotten any.

https://aphysiostudent.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/student-rep-development-weekend-2015/

https://cuspblogs.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/having-a-voice-and-making-a-difference/

http://liamdoylestudentphysio.blogspot.co.uk/

http://www.csp.org.uk/blog/2015/02/12/physiotherapy-students-are-already-leaders-innovators

Lucy Cocker

It was at the back end of the year when I was asked to give a presentation, from a graduates perspective as part of the Physio works programme. The theme of the event stemmed from making a case for change. The event challenged the status quo and asked students to step outside the box and ask the question where will the future of Physiotherapy go? And where do we fit?

My talk gave a personal account of my journey and hopefully planted a seed to enable students to push the boundaries of their personal development. I really wanted students to think about doing things differently and not just going through the motions of student life.

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.“

– Henry Ford (1863-1947), American founder of the Ford Motor Company

Lessons I have learnt along the way

  • Network, Network, Network! -Many of my previous experiences have come about through networking  and have got me where I am today so keep in contact with people you meet.
  • Karen Middleton: “Learn to live with a bit of mess”-Prioritisation is a key skill to develop sometimes some of the things you do don’t need to be perfect to get the job done but it is important to prioritise the things that really do need to be perfect.
  • Learn to say no-You are only one person and you can’t do it all without sending yourself into melt down so learn to delegate.
  • Interviews are a skill- Don’t worry if you struggle in your first few interviews they are a skill to develop which you may read through my blog.
  • Don’t forget about your degree- This links back to prioritisation your degree should be a priority and then work in opportunities around it.
  • Look at challenges as opportunities-There are many things i have done which I have thought I’m not sure about this but at the end of the day you don’t know until you try and if it doesn’t work what have you lost?
  • Take a positive attitude everywhere you go-You will sometimes hit problems along the way with university, placements, jobs. Take a backwards step and look at the problem holistically what can you influence and break the problem down into small chunks.

Thinking outside the right box.

  • When you are faced with barriers you need to find a route around them.
  • What are you trying to achieve? Is the thing you are doing going to provide a solution?
  • Don’t do something because it will look good on your CV.
  • “Take a chance don’t make a plan” Emma Stokes.

The event was fantastic as always and I learnt a lot from the student reps as well as the key speakers. The main thing I took away was during Karen’s and Ieuan’s talk on influencing. If you want to influence someone you need to work out what makes them tick but not only that you need to go with solutions not problems. I want to take this opportunity to thank the CSP students for inviting me to the event and I look forward to see where your journeys take you!

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Physiotherapy Works-providing evidence for solutions to problems.


So on a different note I am also going to share with you the report from the Industrial Relations Committee. I sit on this committee as a newly qualified physiotherapist and it has really been an eye opener to the campaigns and background work done by the CSP and ERUS. Below is my interpretation adapted from the key messages provided by Claire Sullivan.

Committee membership: The committee co-opted two new members; Stephanie Heasley for Northern Ireland and Chris Manning for Higher Education

TTIP: Owen Tudor, Head of European Union and international relations at the TUC, joined the meeting to give a presentation on TTIP (the transatlantic trade and investment partnership) and in particular its implications for the healthcare sector. Owen identified 3 things that CSP members could do on this issue:

  • Lobby your local MP and MEP on the issue and specifically on the need for the health sector to be excluded
  • Ensure that the CSP does the same with the relevant Secretaries of State and Shadow Secretaries
  • Raise awareness of the proposals with friends and family

TTIP is a very complex concept but in basic terms on how TTIP could affect us:

  • Investor state dispute settlement could allow for individual companies to take state/government to independent tribunal where they can sue for compensation. This is only open to foreign investors (which is an unreasonable power grab on global organisations). For example if there was a breach of expected profits from a future contract eg a private foreign company could take Government to a tribunal if an NHS contract breached the expected profit.
  • Public Service-Public services are normally protected from Free Trade Agreements, However, because the NHS is now, in part, provided by commercial companies, it will only be protected from TTIP if it is explicitly excluded from the treaty (which currently it is not).
  • Health and Safety at work under this agreement would be affected. ISDS will give any US company operating in the UK health market the right to sue the government if it introduces new public health regulation, or health protection and health promotion policy measures that might affect these companies’ future investment or profit opportunities. So evidence for safer or more effective treatments, or advances in clinical knowledge, could not be put into practice (at least without the risk of being sued) if this affected the anticipated profits of existing providers. At the same time, harmonisation of health and safety regulations is likely to mean the downgrading of UK public health measures governing the use of food labeling, pesticides, chemicals, the presence of hormones in meat production and so on.
  • We still don’t know what is in TTIP yet and there is a presumption of secrecy (we won’t like what they are offering).
  • More info can be found here: http://www.patients4nhs.org.uk/eu-us-free-trade-agreement-or-ttip/
  • https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/pages/ttip_home

Vision for UK Physiotherapy: the committee received a presentation and video on the draft ‘Vision for UK Physiotherapy’ which had been developed and seen by Council members in December. The agreed overall statement is ‘Transforming Lives, Maximising Independence, Empowering Populations.

NHS Pay in England: the revised pay offer for 2015-16 was considered by the committee. It was agreed that members would be consulted on the offer through stewards, with a recommendation to accept on the basis that the offer is the best that can achieved through negotiation (as there was no commitment to industrial action from members). Committee members acknowledged that the new offer is worse for a proportion of higher paid CSP members but noted that nonetheless it is significantly better for the large majority.

Workforce planning: members and managers are reporting significant difficulties in recruiting at both Band 5 and Band 6. Further examples of this should be fed in to Kate Moran at the CSP. I can forward this on if needs be.

Reports from the Countries: the committee considered updates from Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. In particular it was noted the substantial difficulties still being faced my members working in, or trying to obtain work in, Northern Ireland.

‘Freedom to Speak Up’ Review: the report into Robert Francis review into whistleblowing in the NHS will be published in 11 Feb and can be accessed athttps://freedomtospeakup.org.uk/

Members working outside the NHS: CSP SNO Neil Lark updated the committee on a range of issues affecting members working outside the NHS, including in higher education, the Ministry of Defence, in companies including Nuffield Healthcare and Spire and in social enterprises.

TUC Women’s Conference: this year’s delegation of members attending Womens’ TUC was ratified by the committee. The members are Kim Gainsborough, regional steward in the east of England, Gwawr Jonas, a steward in Wales and Louise Wright, regional steward in Wales.

October 18 ‘Britain needs a pay rise’ demonstration: the committee reviewed the attendance at the events in London, Glasgow and Belfast and thanked everyone who came along. The committee agreed that for any future similar events, encouragement to attend would start with CSP core activists and others who had previously expressed an interest in the relevant area.

ERUS workplan: the committee considered the progress that had been made in 2014 towards key objectives and also reviewed the draft workplan for 2015. The committee was supportive of a more streamlined version focussing on the two key priorities of ‘organising’ and ‘negotiating’.

Future meetings: priorities for the next meeting were identified and included:

  • Recruitment difficulties
  • Feedback from the workforce data modelling and safe and effective staffing levels projects
  • Post General Election wash-up
  • Inviting an outside speaker to talk about fair taxation

Thank you for taking an interest in my blog, I have been overwhelmed with positive comments which continues to drive me to write more. As always if you have any questions or comments leave a post on here or tweet me @LCphysio

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Better Together!

Hi everyone this post is really just to give you a bit of a background of the work being done by the Industrial Relations Committee. The last meeting was on the 1st October at CSP head quarters. It was a really productive meeting and the key messages were produced by Claire Sullivan ERUS Director (See below).

Key messages arising from the IR Committee.

1. Members agreed to take it in turns to contribute a ‘guest blog’ on an area of interest to them, for the IRC news bulletin each month. Jill Barker and Kim Gainsborough will be covering October and November.

2. Lesley Mercer joined the committee for lunch and a presentation of thanks on her first full day of retirement from the CSP as ERUS Director!

3. The new Director, Claire Sullivan, talked briefly to the committee about some of her ideas and plans and some of the likely key challenges ahead.

4. Elaine Sparkes (currently SNO for the East Midlands) has been appointed as interim Assistant Director. The post will be recruited to permanently next April

5. Heledd Tomos has joined the committee as the nominated representative for Wales, replacing John Walpole. The committee is also seeking a new directly elected member for Northern Ireland and all ideas and expressions of interest are welcome

6. A number of issues have been thrown up by the recent exercise to update the CSP membership lists for a possible industrial action ballot. These will be discussed in more detail over the coming months. Please can I just encourage people to access their online CSP account and update your details. The stewards have been doing a great job to update membership lists but it has been a big struggle for them on a national front.

7. The committee considered the current position regarding NHS pay across the UK. It was agreed to continue to update the membership lists for NHS members in England and to convene a meeting of the pay reference group in late October to review whether or not the CSP wishes to proceed to ballot members for industrial action short of strike. Feedback and views from members on this issue continues to be mixed. It is worth noting some of the successes from previous action the link below provides a small summary.
http://www.csp.org.uk/frontline/article/making-commitment-jill-barker-industrial-relations-committee

  1. In relation to Wales the committee agreed to consult members over any offer of a longer-term deal and then to refer the outcome of that to the pay reference group for further consideration9. In Northern Ireland, the committee agreed that we should continue to apply concerted pressure for a Ministerial decision as there has still been no announcement as to whether or not NI will implement the PRB recommendation

    10. The committee agreed that we should gather information on vacancy procedures and long recruitment delays through both stewards and managers. Also, that members would be encouraged to feed in information about recruitment difficulties to the CSP

    11. It was agreed to request a slot to hold an IRC fringe meeting at ARC on future sustainability of the NHS

    12. It was also agreed that an ‘easy guide’ for members should be drawn up on future sustainability of the NHS

    13. The committee agreed to promote the TUC’s video encouraging young workers to join unions to the SEC and wider student community and also to seek a delegate to attend the TUC Youth Conference in 2015 (delegates need to be under 26) and interested volunteers are welcomed

    14. The committee agreed a number of action points arising out of the TUC Congress this year, which had been attended by 5 first time CSP member delegates. These included:
    • to publicise to members the new online petition to repeal part of the health and social care bill and the value of lobbying MPs locally ahead of a debate on this private member’s bill on 21st of November.
    • to be aware of, and support, the Stand up for Justice campaign. The justice system is currently undergoing extensive privatisation and fragmentation and this is resulting in deleterious effects to quality services and accountability
    • to publicise a new film called ‘Pride’ to CSP members. The film, which has attracted excellent reviews, is about the role of LGBT members in the 1984/5 miners’ strike.

15. Don’t forget the TUC march this weekend Oct 18th: Britain Needs a Pay Rise- see video below and reasons to go.

http://www.csp.org.uk/news-events/events/march-rally-18-october

The main message to take away from this blog is that we are better together. The society needs members to engage and update their memberships details so that we can we truly represent what members want. Likewise if you have suggestions  you would like to take forward to CSP council please attend your regional network meetings so that regional council members can take your ideas forwards.

Thanks for taking an interest in my blog any questions or comments please leave a message below or tweet me @LCphysio.

My next post will give a round up of Physiotherapy UK 2014.

Painting my Future Plan!

It appears I have been absent for a month or so from the blogging scene, so it is nice to finally have chance to sit and write a new post. On my last post I was just starting my new permanent rotational band 5  job in Derby. Taking on a new job is an exciting and scary time and I did wonder whether I had made the right decision….will I slot  into the teams, will I enjoy the rotations, how will I cope with a bigger commute and will I drive myself mad living back at home with my parents? All I can say is so far this post and my current situation has been far from a disappointment. We make our own luck and certainly everything appears to be falling into place.

So where to start…. My first rotation is on elderly medicine which is due to finish at the end of April to move to respiratory medicine and on call training (eeeeek!). I have felt so welcomed within the teams at Derby Hospital and they have really been pushing my personal development and quality of care for patients. I have now begun the Preceptorship process and regularly meet with my supervisor to plan and take action on future aims and objectives. My objectives on this rotation aim to cover 4 tasks set by the preceptorship programme (which a scheme to create a seamless transition from Student to Band 5 physiotherapist minus the 6 month incremental pay!).

Task 1: Working with Patients and Groups. 3,2,1.

Task 2: Working with Colleagues and Other agencies. 2,4.

Task 3: Written Communication 2,3.

Task 4: Using local Clinical Policies relating to working practice. – Identifying risk and creating a follow up plan. Carrying out a notes Audit.

The numbers following each task, cross reference to my objectives which I will use as evidence for each task.

My Objectives 06/01/2014- 22/04/2014.

1. i) To be able to identify appropriate patient’s for humidified Oxygen. ii) To be able to set up a humidified oxygen circuit independently.

2. i) To be able to explain the range of rehab options for any given patient. ii) Identify the most appropriate referral. iii) To be able to complete a timely referral.

3. i) To complete a comprehensive + patient specific new  Ax. i) To create a specific and comprehensive problem list. ii) Treatment Plan. iii) Smart Goals.

4. To lead case load management on ward, delegating to BS/ PTA’s and other qualified members of staff.

5. Present an in-service training session for the therapy team.

NB: How I will evidence this is recorded in my Portfolio.

This just gives you an idea of the sort of things I am looking at as a Band 5 physiotherapist. I plan to update my progress post rotation…. What I would do differently? Are there any other objectives I should be including? What went well? And what am I hoping for in my next rotation?

Since starting at Derby I have been given the  opportunity  to continue my work for the CSP as I been selected to sit on the Industrial Relations Committee as the Newly Qualified Rep.

The Industrial Relations Committee (IRC) have special responsibilities in relation to decisions on Pay, Terms and Conditions. Members of the IRC have Leadership and Governance roles to support CSP members.  This may involve inspiring, engaging and empowering members in relation to the work of the IRC and wider trade union issues and campaigns.

In brief the IRC aims to consider all matters and develop policies and strategies, relating to salaries, employment, labour utilisation and conditions of service for Chartered Physiotherapists, Associates and other persons represented by the Society.

I am trying to find the best way to keep in touch with Newly Qualified physiotherapists to put their view across. I have posted a link on iCSP

http://www.csp.org.uk/icsp/topics/calling-all-newly-qualified-physiotherapists?networkid=226045

to see if this generates some interest. I would like New grads to come forward with any issues affecting them in the work place (NHS or Non NHS), which they feel needs to be taken further than Steward and H&S rep level. Local issues can normally be resolved through Stewards and H&S reps. However, if a problem is of a national scale or you feel other New Grads may be facing a similar situation please get in touch.

KEY COMMUNICATIONS MESSAGES- IRC MEETING 5TH FEBRUARY 2014 

New IRC Chair – Jill Barker elected as new IRC Chair.  IRC paid warm tribute to outgoing chair Alex MacKenzie.

Wider Environment – Important to track what’s happening in the wider economy.  Changes to benefits, public services, living standards etc. All impact on profession and patients.

Lobbying Bill – now passed by Parliament.  Strenuous campaigning secured some improvements, but still a big step backwards in terms of democratic rights. CSP to assess how best to mitigate the impact on our ability to lobby and campaign on behalf of members.

NHS Pay, Pensions & Conditions

  •  Pay Review Body (PRB) recommendations on this year’s pay lift, and the Government response, now expected in March. Also likely to be big challenges ahead, issues such as incremental progression.
  • Changes to Agenda for Change terms and conditions in Wales to go out to member consultation once position re doctors clarified.  While not welcome, they represent a significant shift from those originally proposed.
  • First report of joint employer/union working group on implications of staff working longer due out next week. CSP represented on the group.
  • Discussions taking place on very difficult issues around the future funding of the NHS and other public sector pension schemes.  Widening access to the NHS scheme for non-NHS members delivering NHS services represents a concrete success

NHS Social Partnership Working – CSP now has a seat ‘at the table’ in all 4 countries, giving access to information and key decision makers

Competition – new cross-CSP group to be set up to steer CSP’s future work on competition, including learning lessons from early initiatives.  Outcome of current negotiations on an EU-US trade treaty could have big impact.  TUC lobbying making some headway in ensuring public consultation on treaty takes place.

Safe Staffing Levels – CSP employment and professional functions working together on key issues for profession raised by the Francis report, in particular guidance for members on safe and effective staffing levels and the duty of candour.

TUC ‘For a Future that Works’ campaign – IRC agreed to support next major national demonstration planned for October, and to encourage maximum member participation.  Also to support the new Robin Hood Tax petition and video.  Aim of both initiatives is to present the practical alternatives to austerity. Rally’s are a way of organisations/unions showing solidarity on a campaign.

http://www.tuc.org.uk/about-tuc/britain-needs-pay-rise-%E2%80%93-tuc-mass-demonstration-autumn

http://www.csp.org.uk/professional-union/union-support/future-works

Organising – formal CSP recognition secured at the Percy Hedley Foundation in the North East. Welcome precedent.  New briefing on CSP employment services for members working outside the NHS in preparation.

NB This is only a snapshot of the meeting and the comprehensive range of papers tabled.

The weekend after the meeting I was also fortunate to be invited to the Student Rep Development Weekend (which I attended as a student CSP rep). It was strange being on the other side but this years Student Executive Committee have done a great job ensuring the student voice remains . There were many great speakers from the conference which generated a lot of interest on twitter! The transcript for the event can be found here:

http://hashtags.symplur.com/healthcare-hashtag-transcript.php?hashtag=SRDW14&fdate=02-06-2014&shour=0&smin=0&tdate=02-09-2014&thour=23&tmin=43&ssec=00&tsec=00&img=1&page=2&page=1

And Analytics here:

http://www.symplur.com/healthcare-hashtags/SRDW14/analytics/?hashtag=SRDW14&fdate=02%2F06%2F2014&shour=0&smin=0&tdate=02%2F09%2F2014&thour=23&tmin=43&ssec=00&tsec=00&img=1

If I was to talk about all of the speakers from the weekend you would be here reading all night ! Ella a student physio summarises and reflects on the weekend very well ( a great blog from a student physio)

http://aphysiostudent.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/student-rep-development-weekend-2014/comment-page-1/#comment-4

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The key points I took away from the weekend in bullet form:

  • If you want something go after it! Don’t wait for something to happen, go make it happen. Simon Shepherd brought this to life talking about his life story.
  • Some very interesting links from Simon Shepherds talk: http://www.firstbeat.com/ http://www.firstbeat.com/work-well-being/investing-in-well-being-pays-off#Individual
  • “Take a chance, don’t make a plan”, following Karen Middleton’s interview on her career from Student to Chief Executive, it highlighted that we should be flexible in our career path and grasp opportunities made available to us. She talked about pushing the boundaries of her work by working out of her comfort zone. She demonstrated the ability to develop coping strategies whatever she turned her hand to. (Note this is my interpretation of the interview).
  • Aspire to be the best you can be. Set yourself Goals and write a mission statement.
  • Network, Network, Network a useful place to start in Linked IN or Twitter. Networking can open many opportunities start now.
  • Remember you are upholding your profession on Social Media Platforms. Mitigate the risks and engage!
  • Learn about power poses! http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html how can you implement this into practice?

I always come away from each Student Rep Development weekend feeling truely inspired by leaders of the profession, the speakers and the energy from the student reps. Physiotherapy is such a dynamic profession and the more I put in the more I get out.

My action points following the development weekend are:

  • To learn more about motivational interviewing and power poses.
  • To write a personal development plan for the next 5-10 years (as a guide)
  • To find a mentor to help me to refine my leadership skills.

Below are a few photos from the event.

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And so all I have left to do now is to write my Mission Statement:

“I will always strive to achieve excellence in my work and life. I will continue to help others and guide them to opportunities within Physiotherapy. I will always remain open-minded and will take others opinions into account to inform my decisions in practice. I will continue to promote Physiotherapy to my service users, commissioners, and wider network of colleagues to provide a sustainable future for  the profession as a whole.”

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog if you have any comments please feel free to leave one below or tweet me @LCphysio

Putting things in perspective!

This week I started my new job at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and I survived!! My first rotation is on critical care… which for most new band 5’s, who have never done a placement on ITU I am sure would be petrifying! Especially since the QE has the biggest co-located ITU in the world holding 100 beds! …. Luckily for me it is the area I did on placement so it is not all new! (Though jogging my mind on respiratory has been quite as a task, as I last did respiratory placement in my second year). But I am happy as I know quite a few friendly faces which has been reassuring.

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So not only have a started a new job this week I have also moved into a new house, which means I can walk to work! I wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing both at the same time as it has been quite stressful getting everything organised, but everything seems to be back on track now 🙂 . On my first day I went to meet my line manager for an initial induction, I remember walking down to road with butterflies in my stomach and clammy hands wondering what the day would bring! I was given so much information in the morning regarding booking onto mandatory training and different contacts I needed… my brain had turned to mush and I had dates in my diary I couldn’t even relate to any more. But I figured it’s not worth worrying about as everything will get sorted in the end (I just hope I progress to a permanent contract after doing all of these training sessions!!)

Mid morning I got to go up onto the Unit. It didn’t feel too scary as I had been up there before so all the noises of monitors beeping and staff bustling seemed quite normal to me. I am currently on the rehab team on ITU which means I get to work across all the areas of intensive care which are Renal, Trauma, Neuro and Cardiac I think…. So as a new band 5 it is great opportunity to see all the weird and wonderful things! My team consists of two band 6’s and one band 8 so I am in a great environment to learn. We are currently involved in a research trial looking at early mobilisation in ventilated patients to see if this decreases patient length of stay in hospital. It is a very rewarding first rotation but I am due to rotate again in November  😦 (as I started mid way through), so I plan to write some objectives in line with the preceptorship scheme to achieve before I finish. At the QE we have an in service every Wednesday… so it will be a good opportunity to share my learning experiences each week as I won’t be able to share patients stories for confidentiality’s sake. 

From just doing my first week on ITU, it really puts life in perspective. Although I have had a few things going in my personal life recently, compared to what some of the patients and families are going through it is nothing and it really makes you view things completely differently! 

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So back onto a positive note a permanent post has just become available at the QE so I have applied for that! I have had feedback from my last interview so fingers crossed it might lead to something else if I get an interview as there is a chance they might randomly select 🙂 (but now I have met the interview panel hopefully they won’t seem as scary :-S). 

Over the weekend I am at Physiotherapy UK so I am sure I will have a lot to talk about, I am really looking forward to catching up with friends and CSP student Reps! New grads can still go on a student rate and it is great 2 day conference of CPD. See the link below if you want more information:

http://www.physiotherapyuk.org.uk/

Thanks again for taking the time to read my post. Any questions or comments please feel free to contact me on here or tweet me @LCphysio .