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ER-WCPT – Did I Learn Anything

I hope the title doesn’t give it away too much. I left with many intriguing thoughts but unsure of what I gained. I did however love putting some names and twitter conversations to faces and had some real good live conversations of which I hope will continue on.

So to the conference itself. Now I am maybe a bit biased, I consider myself clinician first and am used to very clinical based conferences of which I would not describe this. There was nothing I could take away and use in clinic today, and that probably showed in my live tweeting. My most favourited and retweeted tweet being about how many times we sit to stand a day.

So how would I describe the conference….more about physio as a profession, about some service stuff but nothing definitive and lots of cool digital talk which I love but again nothing definitive.

The conference started off with learning that some physios actually use manual therapy for recti diastasis which is just ridiculous. I mean what are they trying to do….push it back together.

And that led me to my first feeling that we may sit here and bang on about  how good physio is and how we can change the face of health care but what is being done to stop and regulate practice like that. I can’t help but think sometimes we are always talking to the converted and we need to step outside of this to really help the profession. I put a similar question to representatives from physiopedia as to how we can regulate online content and unfortunately they felt that wearing neck braces in other countries was an acceptable practice. As this is the European arm of the World Confederation of Physical Therapists this was a little disappointing to say the least, although they did have a point when they said I could change it myself! I wonder if we need a twitter blue tick like accreditation on online content, or a report button.

I did enjoy listening to Michael Brennan, although I got a little bit lost in his financials, his point that we need to be commercially savvy is spot on, and at the centre of many of physio services failings in the NHS….things can be run so much more efficiently and many services just are not seeing it.

After these opening presentations I dipped in and out of a few more trying to work out if anything was relevant for me….I took no pictures, tweeted little and made no notes, so unfortunately not.

It was then time for the boys from The Physio Matters Podcast to take centre stage and I was surprised there weren’t more people watching. No disrespect to them, Jack and Rachel were great, real good conversation and my colleagues with me commented it was the best thing they had seen so far. I wonder how many NHS managers listen to some of the podcasts out there. Thanks to Jack for bringing me up on stage, you can see me get starstruck and swallow my words here, along with the rest of the better conversation from Jack and Rachel

Day 2 was much of the same, I dipped in and out of different presentations but never quite came away with anything to use. I loved the digital slant on the conference itself and a workshop I had with Ciara Clancy was particularly inspiring. Digital is going to be the way forward and if anything the conference has given me some ideas to muse. One quote in particular from Brian Caulfield was an interesting take, the technology is there but we as physios and healthcare need to change our old processes, let’s have some more of this talk next time.

Overall I think it was good to be there, good to see and meet people and talk physio but the quality of the conference needs to be better. I know this sounds negative but there was also lots of opportunity to come out of it also, I just wonder if we as a profession should be coming together better, maybe in a way of consensus, regulation and getting some continuity across the board, as whilst we have physios all doing different things how can we move forwards. A common theme was, projects here and projects there, it amazes me that one area can excel and another fails, so come on physio, lets up the standard across the board.

I’ll finish with 2 quotes, the first one from Kari Bo, ‘Some physios get away with non-evidenced based practice because inefficient physio does not harm’ the second from Jack Chews ‘Don’t be average and don’t be complacent’.

Thanks for reading.

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