PhysioUpdate 20th July 2021

Raising suicide awareness: a UK nurse and an Australian physio tell PhysioUpdate about their work

An article by Oxfordshire-based nurse specialist Karen Lascelles, arguing that suicide prevention is ‘everybody’s business’ (including physiotherapists’), appeared in Frontline (a publication for members of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy) in 2014.

In a Q&A, PhysioUpdate editor Ian A McMillan, who was Frontline’s deputy editor at the time, caught up with Karen, who recently launched a survey on the support needs of family members and carers who have a relative or friend who has suicidal thoughts. 

Karen's column caught the attention of Australia-based physiotherapist Ryan McGrath and the pair are collaborating on a training webinar this month. Later in this article, Ryan tells us more about his work in the suicide field.


Joining up the pieces: how a UK nurse and an Australian physiotherapist pool resources

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Physiotherapy could be a 'shining example' by championing needs of people with learning disabilities

The physiotherapy profession should seize an opportunity to become a ‘shining example’ in the healthcare arena by advocating on behalf of people with learning disabilities, according to Alistair Beverley, a prominent physiotherapist in the field.

Mr Beverley, who has worked in the speciality for 11 years and has built up a large social media following posting as ‘The LD physio’, was responding to the latest evidence showing that Covid-19 is ravaging the lives of many people with learning disabilities.

People with Down syndrome are one of the most 'at risk' groups from Covid-19

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Island life: first contact physiotherapists break the mould in NHS Western Isles
Otter alert: motorists travelling to South Uist in Alana's patch receive a warning

Alana MacPhee and Eleanor Maule have taken up pioneering posts as first contact physiotherapists with NHS Western Isles, which covers a group of islands off the north west coast of Scotland, as Ian A McMillan discovered.

Alana’s patch is Uist and Barra, while Eleanor is based in Stornoway, the main town on the Isle of Lewis. The innovation means that local patients presenting to GP practices with musculoskeletal issues will be assessed by physiotherapists without having to see their GP first.

A range of treatment options is available

Depending on their needs, patients will be offered help by telephone, virtually, or face to face.

The existing arrangements for self-referral to the local physiotherapy service and standard NHS physiotherapy service provision remain in place, a release on the NHS Western Isles website announced.

For more information, visit:


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