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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#Physio14: Where will the next 100 years take us?

This post has been slightly delayed partly due to me gallivanting in Vietnam for 2 weeks but also due to my change in shift pattern on Trauma and Orthopaedics I have less time in the evenings to sit and write my blog. This post will mainly cover my trip to Physiotherapy UK and will touch on future exciting developments in the pipe line.

Attending Physiotherapy UK was a relatively last minute decision. I had been to the conference for the last 5 or so years as a student and newly qualified, however this year with me going to Vietnam for a couple of weeks I was definitely counting my pennies.

I can tell you the decision not to go did not last long as everyone kept messaging me  asking “Are you going to Physio UK?” and in the end I just didn’t want to miss out! It was a great 2 day event which was credit to the organisers  and council, a truly inspiring event with lots of learning to take away. I have written this blog  in blocks so you can skip to the presentation summary you want,( I have not included all of the presentations as I would be here all night). Each one will be divided by a horizontal line.

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Rob Webster- Meeting the 201 Challenge: Opportunity and Threat. NHS Confederation.

It was great for Rob Webster, Chief Executive of NHS Confederation, to come and deliver a talk at Physio UK. Rob really did set the scene for the challenges faced by the NHS in the near future and where Physiotherapy can play its part.

So the current Challenges:

  • Generational Challenge- A society becoming dependent on the health service.
  • Ageing Population- An increasing demand on the Health service.
  • NHS Reform
  • Funding Cuts
  • A population with multiple issues.

We have a leadership role to be optimistic: 7 Themes the NHS needs to address.

  1. The Need challenge-changing population
  2. The Culture challenge
  3. The Design Challenge
  4. The Finance Challenge
  5. The Leadership Challenge
  6. The Workforce Challenge
  7. The Technology Challenge.

So we need ambition for the future- Where is the NHS going?

The vision and asks: The 2015 Challenge Manifesto a time for action.

  • Start with Prevention
  • Long Term Conditions- supported self care
  • Seven day services- local hospitals
  • Hyper acute trusts to save your life in need.

Things we need to remember as Physiotherapists and other Health Professionals.

  • We are guests in other peoples lives. We need to put ourselves in our patients’ shoes to truly understand what they are going through.
  • Our outcomes should be theirs.
  • We should organise around them and not our professional egos.

The Opportunities.

  • Integration working as one team across community and across organisations
  • Cost effective- using and promoting the work being done by Physio Works.
  • Right Person, Right Care.

Threats

  • Misunderstood Role- we need to learn to shout a bit louder about our profession.
  • The Heft of Status Quo.- “If you always do what you have always done you will always get what you have always got”
  • Visibility- Do commissioners know what we can do?
  • Unintended consequences of safe staffing
  • Plurality.

My take home message: We are facing a challenging environment within NHS whether it be cuts, increasing pressure to meet demands or trying to make Physiotherapy heard. We could easily just sit on our laurels and wait for someone to make a plan for us however we all have a responsibility to push our profession forwards and demonstrate how we can be a major part of the transformation of the NHS.


Centenary Founders Lecture 1912-2014 Karen Middleton.

I think I must have done 3 blog posts including a speech from Karen but each time I take away something different. The lecture was focused on how Physiotherapy has transformed over the last 100 years. How we take for granted our Autonomy and need to look back at how our founders over came the challenges to achieve this. Physiotherapy has a great future if we continue to push the boundaries of our profession.

Karen’s Leadership Lessons.

  1. Take Responsibility for your own development- I have taken this forwards by finding a mentor to guide my development.
  2. Things that Karen reflects on: What are you known for? What do you want to be known for? What challenges you? What have you learnt? What have you recently added to your CV? Why should anyone be lead by you?
  3. We need to be flexible! Learn to live with a bit of mess!
  4. What level of risk can you accept? What can you get away with?
  5. Learn to act quickly but not rashly. Don’t over think.
  6. Leadership takes guts
  7. Speak out when others are silent when integrity is at stake. Would you stand up for Physiotherapy?
  8. Everything in your body will tell you you can’t do it. Imposter syndrome we diminish our own value.
  9. We must be authentic
  10. People need a reason to follow you. People need to feel empowered.

If you want to see the video to Karen’s inspirational lecture please click the link below.

http://www.csp.org.uk/news/2014/10/10/karen-middleton-calls-action-stop-physiotherapy-sleepwalking-obscurity


Supporting People with Long Term Conditions- Prof Ann Ashburn

Patients need:

  • Support, Information, choice- patient preference, self-management, Information about their condition, prevention+ health promotion, psycho-social, point of contact when things go wrong, feedback from patients for service improvement and Training for all.

The Strengths of Physiotherapy

  • Active participants
  • Targets set and agreed
  • Collaboration
  • People views of Physiotherapists.

Challenges

  • Limited Research
  • Psycho-social aspect
  • Leisure activities- health promotion
  • Utilising Technology

Disempowerment and Psycho-social factors in long term conditions

  • Attention
  • Diminished concentration affects learning
  • Not being given enough time to think
  • Too many instructions
  • Background noise
  • Fatigue
  • Day to day variability, medication cycle & sleeping patterns. Affected by dehydration (as a result of slowness to swallow,concern about bladder control) so could have headaches, fatigue, constipation all of which will affect performance.
  •  Answering phone – better face to face

Empowerment

  • Allow patients to achieve
  • Recognition of previous life and the patient as a person
  • Choice
  • Support

The final part of Ann’s presentation looked at some of the health promotion activities that Physiotherapists could be involved in such as a scheme called Life after Parkinson’s. For example they set up a dance group for patients with PD . This was just one example of how we need to be creative to improve patient experience and that there is life after a diagnosis of a long term condition.


Assessment and Treatment Planning for MS- Dr Jenny Freeman

Symptoms of MS

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Poor Coordination
  • Spasticity
  • Sensory Disturbance
  • Visual Disturbance
  • Poor Swallow
  • Bladder and Bowel etc

Some questions and top tips for people with MS.

What are you currently doing to manage your health? What exercise?

Is there anything putting you off?

Do you ever Fall? Impaired  balance during Transfers, STS, Turning./Delayed motor response/Alteration of 2 sensory inputs/use of walking aids.

Exercise is proven to be beneficial and is not associated with relapse. Transient symptoms should settle down.

Should be aiming to complete Resistance training 2-3/week at mod intensity 60-80% 1rep max 1-3sets for min 8 weeks. Aerobic training 2-3 times a week 30 mins 4x a week.

Some of the balance interventions: Increase sway in quiet stance, delayed anticipatory + autonomic postural adjustments. Evidence suggests the benefits for balance interventions.

Current Outcome Measures Used.

10m Timed Walk, Single leg stance, lateral reach, confidence scale ABC, MS Walking scale, Activities specific MS, Grip strength, 9 hole peg test.

Useful Resources: Rehabilitation Measures Database- Neurology/ MS edge outcome measures database.


Measuring Respiratory Symptoms in Advanced MS? What’s the point? What’s the evidence? What are the options? by Rachel Moses.

This was a regular problem when I was working on an acute respiratory ward, MS patients being picked up too late for respiratory Ax. If these patients are caught early there are many interventions which can be taught to prevent admission to hospital but the new NICE guideline for MS have removed speech/swallow and respiratory management from the guidelines even though anecdotal evidence suggests there is a need.

MS pulmonary dysfunction and function 

  • Marked expiratory dysfunction – poor cough
  • Severe diaphragm weakness ? Indication or higher cervical cord lesion.
  • Limited ability to maximally exhale
  • reduced vital capacity for patients who desaturate over night.
  • MS- abnormalities in breathing control, resp muscle weakness, bulbar dysfunction.

What’s the Point?

So when we are assessing a patient we want to be looking at their peak cough flow. If the patients peak cough flow falls below 270ml then it is likely they will need some support to have an effective cough.

  • Lung Volume recruitment bags would be the first port of call this aids breath stacking to increase lung volume for a more effective cough.
  • If LVR isn’t enough some patients may need a Manual assisted cough as well.
  • The final port of call would be manual Insufflation: Exsufflation. This is a machine which delivers a volume and then switches the pressure release the volume and augment a cough. MI:E has been shown to be a cost effective admission avoidance strategy for patients with advanced NMD.

From this presentation it reiterated the importance of early respiratory assessment to prevent acute admissions. It also highlighted a need to educate commissioners on the benefit of respiratory management for patients with MS.


The Dementia Challenge- Iain Lang

What is Dementia?

  • A set of symptoms, progressive condition.
  • Not easy to differentiate between different types of dementia
  • variable condition day to day.

Why is dementia important?

  • Common
  • It’s frightening- most feared health condition, reliance on others
  • £26 billion cost to UK Economy
  • people with dementia stay an average five days longer in hospital.

How can we respond to the challenge?

  • Diagnosis more than 1/2 of people with dementia are not diagnosed.
  • Treatment- drugs are used to reduce symptoms and deal with psychosis, anxiety or depression. No current drug developments.
  • Understand how to communicate with patients with dementia- now mandatory training.
  1. Prevention- managing other commorbidities  HTN, Diabetes.
  2. Don’t smoke this increases the risk of dementia
  3. Eat a Mediterranean diet
  4. stay engaged prevent social isolation, learn new things
  5. Exercise best evidence to prevent dementia

Implicit memory- how you do things?

  • Evidence suggests the way forwards
  • error less learning
  • positive experience
  • repetition guiding what you want.

Implicit vs Explicit

  • Priming
  • errorless learning
  • repeated constant practice
  •  avoid multitasking

Dual Tasking

  • Capactiy overaload
  • Structural interface- sensory overload- for example during standing use fingers instead of hands to support patient.
  • be patient
  • don’t overload senses
  • one thing at a time
  • may choose to do this as part of rehab.

Communication

  • Dementia questionnaire inpatient- what do they enjoy?
  • Smile
  • Understand where people come from.

Pain

  • Very overlooked
  • most unable to verbalise
  • unable to process pain
  • unable to identify pain
  • unable to understand why they are in pain
  • What were they taking before?
  • Pain scale- Abbey pain scale.

People with dementia should be given the opportunity to maximise their potential.

  • Approach from the front good eye contact
  • think about what they are called
  • short commands and being courteous
  • keep hand movements open
  • use positive tone
  • goal based- lets go and look out the window
  • stand up tall
  • use gesture or tap where
  • avoid jargon
  • use of equipment be aware may not understand how to use.

I have been able to take this learning into practice in the acute setting by adapting my communication and limiting sensory bombardment, in turn I have found my patients with dementia have made good progress. Sometimes you need to be patient and try and build rapport  before asking them to do something but if you can get them on your side you will make your job a lot easier. I have also found that by reducing my handling has encouraged patients to be more active during the treatment session which has limited the manual handling load for me.


So that was just a review of some of the presentations I attended whilst at Physio UK. During the event I was able to catch up and network with many different people who I aim to stay in contact with. Physio UK always offers a great opportunity to speak to new people who share a similar interest to you whether that be Management, Education, MSK, Respiratory, Neurology and more. Whilst at the drinks reception I got talking to Paula Manning, outgoing Vice Chair East Midlands Regional network and Catherine Pope, Vice Chair of council. They asked me whether I would be prepared to stand as Vice Chair for the East Midlands Network. I was ecstatic to have been asked but I suggested that I would need to confirm this with my manager. My manager has now agreed to support me and I have been selected to run as Vice Chair of EMRN. The role will be a challenge but it will give me valuable experience which can be transferable to my professional developent. I have lots of people to support me so I am looking forward to taking the role forwards into 2015.

One final thing in the pipe line, I have been asked by the CSP student reps to speak at the annual rep development weekend.  I am really looking forward to sharing my experience as a new graduate with reps and hopefully inspiring them to do great things and take the future of our profession forwards.

Apologies for the length of this blog, but Thank you for taking an interest. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2015! Any comments or questions please leave a message below or tweet me @LCphysio.