PhysioUpdate 8th June 2021


Teach student-athletes that mental health issues are on a par with physical ones, paper suggests

Young athletes should be encouraged to see mental health and wellbeing as being on a par with a physical injury, according to an editorial in the latest issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The paper, written by a Canada-based team led by Nicholas Grubic from the department of public health sciences at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, is titled Competing against Covid-19: have we forgotten about student-athletes’ mental health?

Recent events concerning Naomi Osaka may give the editorial added resonance

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PhysioUpdate Q&A: Elaine Miller, a physio who uses humour to break down taboos on continence issues

In an exclusive PhysioUpdate Q&A, pelvic health physio Elaine Miller – who describes herself as a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, an award-winning comedian and a recovered incontinent – answers questions posed by editor Ian A McMillan. Elaine is unapologetic if her no-holds-barred approach means she can successfully reach a new audience – even if she has ruffled a few feathers among her fellow professionals in the past.

In the spotlight: physio Elaine Miller on stage with Gusset Grippers in pre-lockdown days

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Physios can 'shout about their work and inspire others' by entering 2021 chief AHP officer awards
AHPs have 'stepped up their skills' during the past year and need to 'shout about their work'

Are you, or do you know, an inspirational physiotherapist practising in England? If so, why not consider entering this year’s chief allied health professions officer (CAHPO) awards?

The 2021 awards, which have been re-activated after a ‘pause’ last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, were launched last week, with the winners due to be announced at a virtual ceremony on 14 October (National AHP Day). The deadline for submissions is 31 July.

Sharing ideas

In a recent blog, England's CAHPO Suzanne Rastrick said the awards serve several purposes: one of which is the opportunity to ‘share ideas’.

‘Sharing ideas is an important part of the change process, it helps to drive improvement in patient care and outcomes by increasing adoption and spread.’

Ms Rastrick, an occupational therapist by background who took up her current post in 2014, said the awards also help to raise the profile of AHPs and their contribution to patient care.

She noted: ‘The last year has shown how AHPs have stepped up and their skills have been critical to supporting the pandemic effort. Finally, the awards offer a great opportunity to shout about the work you’ve been doing and to inspire others.’

Drive to be more 'inclusive'

In a bid to make the awards more inclusive, the CAHPO awards working group has changed the application process, Ms Rastrick told potential applicants. More data will now be gathered, such as on applicants’ ethnic backgrounds, for example, in a bid to find out if there are ‘any gaps in representation, and how we can further develop the inclusivity of the awards’.

In addition, applicants have an option to submit a three-minute recorded PowerPoint presentation, she said.

‘You can still provide a traditional written entry, but there is now an option to submit a three-minute recorded PowerPoint presentation if you would prefer.

‘Our aim is to offer choice in how you can submit your application. Although the idea originated from how we support engagement from our neurodivergent community, the option is open to anyone submitting an application.’

Don’t forget you can use nominations to recognise the particular efforts of people who you know have had to fight harder to get to the same place. Can you reach out and support someone with their nomination? [Suzanne Rastrick]

Ms Rastrick said nominations should ‘reflect the full range of people whom you work with and alongside’.

‘Perhaps a group of team members can come together and consider all individuals in a team prior to nominating,’ she added. ‘Don’t forget you can use nominations to recognise the particular efforts of people who you know have had to fight harder to get to the same place. Can you reach out and support someone with their nomination?'

Eight of the best: this year's categories

  • Creative provision of placements: awarded by Council of Deans of Health. Nominations are welcomed from AHP leaders, educators and/or students from health and social care or education (teams or individuals) who have helped change the face of AHP practice-based learning in the context of the challenges generated by the pandemic 
  • Public health champion: awarded by Public Health England. Nominations are welcome from AHPs and their teams including support workers and students
  • AHP digital practice: awarded by NHSx. Nominations are welcome from AHPs who have led the way in digital developments
  • AHP workforce transformation: awarded by Health Education England. Nominations are welcome for this award from individual AHPs or teams who are demonstrating transformation through innovation in AHP workforce supply (such as new ways of offering work experience, return to practice, advance practice and international recruitment)
  • AHP innovation and delivery of systems: awarded by NHS England and Improvement. Nominations are welcomed from AHP practitioners, or a team of practitioners to which AHPs have contributed. Nominations evidencing co-production and spread of the improvement will be scored more highly
  • AHP compassionate leadership: awarded by NHS Employers. Nominations are invited from individuals or teams for AHP leaders that can demonstrate how they have driven forward broad and sustainable innovation, delivery or change. Nominations evidencing spread of the innovation will be scored more highly
  • AHP research impact: awarded by the National Institute for Health Research/ Council for Allied Health Professions Research. This award focuses on AHPs' contribution in developing, leading, or supporting research in health, social care and public health
  • CAHPO award: awarded by NHS England and Improvement. This outstanding contribution award is decided and awarded by the CAHPO. You cannot submit nominations for this award

 See: https://www.england.nhs.uk/ahp/chief-allied-health-professions-officer-awards/ 

By Ian A McMillan



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