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Positive Points: Equity in care

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When I started out in Physiotherapy, I thought that it was all about the physical treatment of patients. As an undergraduate I did an assignment on the Black Report – about socioeconomic status and health and how they seem to correlate; those who are better off generally have better health. I therefore had an understanding that there are inequalities in health but didn’t relate it directly to physiotherapy practice. I thought it was the role of managers and policy makers to influence public health.

The more I have practiced the more I realise that inequalities exist in all areas of health care and that, as physiotherapists, we have a duty to treat all people equitably and this does not mean that everyone is treated the same. It means they all have access to the same high-quality care.

An example may be for someone who needs an interpreter, e.g. sign language or from another language, a fixed time appointment may mean that they have less time for their need to be heard, assessed and addressed. For these people the difference in care quality could be spending a little longer with them ensuring that the translation can be effective and that they can understand their condition and the treatment. This could have a big difference on the health outcome for that individual and their engagement with the treatment plan.

In my practice I have worked with people with learning disabilities and neurological conditions that can bring their own challenges. People may need longer to perform physical tasks for assessment, they may need time to process language or time to speak as they may have difficulties in the motor aspects of speaking. If they are limited to a certain length of time for assessment and treatment this can be stressful and cause increased muscle tone and increased difficulties for the person.

At Positive Positioning we have no time limits on appointments, we work to what suits you to meet your needs. We can carry out assessments over multiple appointments if that works better for you. We work in your home in your familiar environment to help you to feel comfortable and in control.

If this is something you or someone you know would be interested in, please contact us through the website