02 June 2021

The Trust hosted its first Physiotherapy Conference on Thursday the 27th of May 2021. The 3-hour, virtual, learning and development event was delivered in collaboration with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

The audience included registered physiotherapists, pre-registration physiotherapy learners from the University of East London and our physiotherapy support staff – this is pretty much all of physios across ELFT! Also in attendance at the Conference were multidisciplinary service and directorate leaders who line manage a physiotherapy workforce. The popularity of the event is evidenced by the fact it was oversubscribed by 30 participants.

The conference aimed to bring together ELFT’s physiotherapy workforce and foster their sense of connectedness at a time when many have been distanced and disconnected from their familiar routines and networks. Importantly, the event sought to celebrate the adaptability and innovation of ELFT's Physiotherapy workforce throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Dr Paul Gilluley, ELFT’s Chief Medical Officer, welcomed everyone to the morning and expressed a heartfelt thank you for the massive contribution Physiotherapy teams have made to service users and our health and care services during the pandemic. A small example of their huge contribution are the latest Integrated Discharge Hubs across ELFT.

We were delighted to offer a full conference programme but the five main highlights were undoubtedly:

  • Professor Karen Middleton, CEO of the CSP’s, inspiring and forward-looking keynote address. We particularly loved her acknowledgement of our vital support workforce and the ongoing need to actively diversify Physiotherapy to better represent the populations it serves.
  • Tower Hamlet’s Community Health Service’s Wellbeing & Gardening for Health projects. Inspiring examples of innovative practice, both projects emphasise the 5 steps to mental wellbeing and the value of digitalised, integrated care delivery driven by local population needs.
  • The benefits of having First Contact Practitioners in a primary care musculoskeletal service. We heard very clearly how this emerging role has improved staff and service-user experience, cost-savings and population health outcomes.
  • ELFT’s inaugural therapy-led Long-COVID rehabilitation and recovery service. Joint-led by our Newham and Tower Hamlets Community Health Services, therapists and person-centred therapeutic interventions are beginning to show real impact in long-COVID recovery.
  • The shared vision for the future of Physiotherapy and the breadth of opportunities available for the future of the profession. Delivered by Claire Fordham, Professional Adviser for Workforce and Education at the CSP, we heard the importance of embracing new opportunities for Physiotherapy at all career levels. For pre-registration learners, newer models of practice-based learning and supervision were championed. For Advanced Practitioners, optimising opportunities in primary care and the transformation of community health services was highlighted.

One thing we have learnt from the organisation and delivery of this event, is that there is so much more innovative practice to showcase, celebrate and learn from across ELFT’s Physiotherapy workforce.

Watch this space for similar events that ultimately aim to improve population health outcomes; staff and service user experience; as well as the cost-effectiveness of services.

Big thanks and acknowledgements to the following individuals who organised the conference in collaboration with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists:

  • Marion Levine, Head of Children's Therapy & Deputy Associate Clinical Director
  • Rebeca Rabinovitz, Therapy Manager, Tower Hamlets Community Health Services
  • Raguraman Padmanabhan, Clinical & Operational Service Lead, Newham Community Health Services & ELFT's AHP Digital Lead
  • Ngalita (Maggy) Mbelo, Lead Physiotherapist, East Ham Care Centre, Newham Community Health Services
  • Stephen Sandford, Professional Lead for AHPs
  • Suhailah Mohamed, Professional Development Lead for AHPs

If you attended the conference, please tell us what you thought of it here.

Meet some of our physiotherapists here. Play as a slideshow for the full experience.